Rwanda medical workers deploy robots to minimize coronavirus risk

  • Tuesday 02, June 2020 07:23 AM
Sharjah24 – Reuters: At the Kanyinya COVID-19 treatment facility a short distance from Rwanda's capital Kigali, Akazuba, Ikizere and Ngabo report for duty, but these are no ordinary health care workers.
In a bid to minimize contact between patients infected with the coronavirus and doctors and nurses, the country has deployed the three robots to carry out simple tasks like taking temperatures and monitoring patients.

The sleek white robots, with big bright blue eyes and a rather human appearance, were donated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and are helping frontline workers tackle the coronavirus crisis in the East African nation which so far has 355 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 disease.

By relaying messages to doctors and helping the team assess the effectiveness of their clinical decisions, the robots cut the number of bedside visits that doctors have to make.

"They help us to decrease or reduce the risk of transmission," said David Turatsinze, a doctor at the 75-bed facility, which housed 65 patients.

Currently the robots are programmed to take readings of vitals and deliver video messages and feedback between doctors and patients, said Turatsinze.

The robots, which are a first for Africa, have the potential to offer even more support to medical teams in future said officials who hope to programme them to carry out additional tasks.