The East African country, Rwanda, has introduced robots that will help them fight the coronavirus. As of May 22, the country has 314 confirmed coronavirus cases. Rwanda is now going to use five anti-epidemic robots that can help them stop the spread of the virus.
COVID-19 vs. Robots
The United Nations Development Program or the UNDP donated the anti-epidemic robots. They are to be stationed in the Kanyinya treatment center which is where COVID-19 patients in the country are brought. The treatment center is located in Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda.
The five anti-epidemic robots were given names, they are Akazuba, Mwiza, Ikirezi, Urumuri, and Ngabo. The Health Minister of Rwanda and the Minister of ICT and Innovation received the robots last week.
According to Rwanda's Ministry of ICT and Innovation, the robots will be used for monitoring patient status, mass temperature screening, and keeping all medical records of coronavirus patients.
The anti-epidemic robots have the ability to screen 150 people every minute, which is five times faster than what a frontliner can do. It can detect coronavirus symptoms from a patient, including dry cough and high temperature.
According to Rwanda's minister of health, Dr. Daniel Ngamije, they also have the ability to capture visual data and to capture the sound of patients and it can notify the health workers about the abnormalities that it detected.
Dr. Ngamije said that the robots be placed on treatment centers to help health workers screen the people who come and go and to help detect those who are not wearing masks. In this way, the command post of the center will be informed immediately and they can respond quickly.
Coronavirus update in Rwanda
According to Reuters, more than 90,000 health workers around the world tested positive for the virus after they've come in close contact with COVID-19 patients.
In order to reduce the number of infected health workers, the government of Rwanda wants its health workers to have limited physical contact with coronavirus patients who are under their care.
The robots can deliver medicine, food and other things that a patient may need, which means they can eventually replace the frontliners.The robots were developed to be able to communicate with people. It is also programmed so that it can educate people on the dangers of COVID-19 and what people can do to stay safe.
The robotics engineers from the UNDP will be the one to train the staff of the Rwandan Ministry of Health on how to use it so that they can be put to work.
Aside from Rwanda, Tunisia also used robots to manage the spread of coronavirus. When Tunisia was on lockdown in April, there were police robots sent out by the authorities to patrol the areas in the city. It was their way to make sure that the residents were all following the lockdown rules and guidelines.
The robots were controlled by the police and they check the ID of those who were caught wandering the streets, the robots have cameras to capture everything.
In January, doctors also used a robot to treat the first person in the United States to contract the virus. The robot in a hospital in Seattle was also tasked to check the vitals of the patient, thus limiting the patient's contact with the health workers.
Rwanda was one of the countries that was able to suppress the spread of the virus since the pandemic began, as per Reuters. The country has recorded around 300 cases and there are no deaths so far. On May 4, the Rwandan government eased the lockdown and businesses were allowed to reopen as long as they follow certain guidelines to ensure the safety of the workers and the customers.