How Singapore kept the coronavirus off campus

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The project, developed by Michael Chee of NUS and Prof Balan of SMU, was launched in April as a way to monitor crowds “as passively as possible and with minimal inconvenience,” Prof Chee said.

NUS is now encouraging students and staff to check out an app with a platform called CrowdInsights, which was developed by university administrators. But more important than technology, said Prof Chee, it is the attitudes of students that the public good matters.

“We don’t have that militant ‘we must have freedom’ approach that the West has,” he said. “Technology supports the mission, but it’s useless if people don’t have this philosophy and culture to apply it.”

At NUS, many students said they accepted the restrictions because they recognized the need to protect public health.

Valencia Maggie Candra, a 20-year-old rookie who returned to Singapore in September from her native Indonesia, said she “definitely felt a difference” in people’s attitudes.

THX. Candra said she was studying alone in her dorm in November when a security guard entered and told her to wear her mask. She easily obeyed.

“Everyone is just relatively more socially responsible,” she says. “Even if the rules are not followed 100%, everyone respects them.”

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