In the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic, many countries have resorted to the use of modern technology in different forms to fight the spread of the virus.
For instance, Ghana, as well as a host of other countries, has engaged the services of medical drones to transport samples for testing.
Rwanda has also introduced a new dimension to using technology by using robots to aid the country’s fight against the virus.
According to government officials of Rwanda, the initiative is targeted at reducing human contacts between infected persons and health workers offering treatment in a bid to contain the spread of the virus from person to person.
The initiative was launched on Tuesday, May 19, 2020, by the Minister for Health in Rwanda with the support from UNDP at Kanyinya COVID-19 Treatment Centre with an initial number of 5 robots.
Explaining the specific duties of the robots, the Health Minister Dr Daniel Ngamije noted the high-tech robots can perform a number of tasks related to COVID-19 management, including mass temperature screening, delivering food and medication to patients, capturing data, detecting people who are not wearing masks, among others.
“Medics and other front-liners visit patients’ room many times to deliver medication, meals, carry out tests, among other things – and this may pose a risk of contracting the virus,” he said. These robots will fasten service delivery while protecting our valuable health workers against COVID-19 exposure,” Dr Daniel Ngamije said.
A local media has reported that according to information from Rwanda’s Ministry of ICT and Innovation, the robots have the capacity to screen between 50 to 150 people per minute, capture both video and audio data, and notify officers on duty about detected abnormalities for timely response and case management.
Made by Zora Bots, a Belgian company specialised in robotics solutions, they are designed with various advanced features to support doctors and nurses at designated treatment centres, and can also be leveraged into screening sites in the country.