As part of moves to reduce human-to-human contact while handling coronavirus cases, Rwanda is introducing robots in coronavirus treatment centers and other public places. Rwandan Health Minister Daniel Ngamije, who disclosed this on Friday, said the robots have been given Rwandan names and will be used as the interface between doctors and patients to avoid any possible human contact.
Five robots that have already been imported and have been named Urumuri, Icyizere, Kazuba, Ngabo and Mwiza, will be programmed and employed first, the minister said on Rwanda Television.
“These robots will support us in different ways but most importantly they will be approaching patients to test temperature and status of breathing among other tasks, which will help us minimize human-to-human contact,” said Dr. Ngamije, adding that more robots will be arriving in the country soon.
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“They will help us reduce the number of times the doctor or nurse gets in contact with the patient and also help our medical personnel to handle many cases at the same time and also have time to rest as the robots assist.”
Apart from being used in treatment centers, the robots will also measure temperatures in other public places such as bus stops and entrances of shopping arcades, he said.
Amid the coronavirus, many countries including China, the U.S., and Japan are using robots to take some of the burdens off of healthcare workers in the fight against the virus. Disinfection robot UVD, for example, has been in high demand since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Rwanda, which has recorded 284 coronavirus cases as of Monday, drones have also been deployed to raise public awareness about the disease.