CNN – Rwanda has introduced robots as part of its struggle against coronavirus.
With 314 confirmed cases of the virus on May 22, the East African country has requested the assistance of five anti-epidemic robots to fight the virus.
The robot was donated by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to its Kany care center which treats Covid-19 patients in the capital, Kigali.
The robots – named Akazuba, Ikirezi, Mwiza, Ngabo and Urumuri – were received by the country’s Minister of Health and the Minister of ICT and Innovation last week.
They will be used for mass temperature screening, monitoring patient status, and keeping medical records of Covid-19 patients, according to the Rwandan Ministry of ICT and Innovation.
Keeping health workers safe
The robot performs a number of tasks related to managing coronavirus. They can screen up to 150 people every minute for viral symptoms such as high temperatures and dry cough.
According to Dr. Daniel Ngamije, Rwanda’s health minister, also has the capacity to capture patients’ voice and visual data and can inform health workers about detected abnormalities.
“These robots will carry out temperature checks at our treatment centers. The robots will detect people who enter without wearing masks so that with that voice, the command post can be quickly informed and responded to,” he said.
More than 90,000 health workers worldwide have contacted Covid-19 in order to treat affected patients. To reduce these numbers, the Rwandan government wants its health workers to limit physical contact with patients under their care.
The robot has the capacity to deliver medicine, food and other basic necessities in lieu of front-line workers to Covid-19 patients undergoing treatment, Ngamije said.
They are programmed to communicate properly and can also educate health workers and patients about the dangers of viruses and how to stay safe, he added.
Robotics engineers from UNDP will train Rwandan Ministry of Health staff on how to use robots so they can make it work.
Robot against Covid-19
Rwanda is not the first country to use robots to manage the spread of coronavirus.
During the Tunisian lockdown in April, police robots were deployed to patrol the area in the country’s capital to ensure that residents observe the lockdown.
They are controlled by officers who check the IDs of citizens who are found wandering through robot cameras.
And in January, doctors used robots to treat the first person in the US to get a coronavirus. Robots at a hospital in Seattle are employed to check the man’s vital signs, limiting contact with health workers.
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