Rwanda has received a set of robots that will support the country in decontaminating COVID-19 as part of the ongoing fight against the global pandemic.
The three solar powered robots, worth $210,000 were donated on February 9, 2021 by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the government of Japan, adding to already existing strategy of using technology to contain COVID-19.
They will be deployed by Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC)to start operations in a Covid-19 Treatment Center at Nyarugenge hospital facility in Kigali.
RBC says that robots have the potential to be deployed for disinfection, delivering medications and food, measuring vital signs, and assisting border and airport controls.
Dr Sabin Nsanzimana, RBC Director General said that COVID-19 has improved the use of technology in health services and giving medics time to attend to other cases.
“We have been requiring more than 400 medics to decontaminate treatment facilities, but the robots will do this jobs faster and effective, which will give medics more time to take care of other patients countrywide,” Dr. Nsanzimana said.
Maxwell Gomera, an official representing UNDP Rwanda said that the use of robots is a profound commitment for UNDP in supporting countries to contain COVID-19 through use of technology.
The robots are not the first of their kind in Rwanda, as the country started to use robots in healthcare facilities as soon as the pandemic outbreak was announced by the World Health Organization (WHO).
In May UNDP Rwanda program donated five high-tech robots in order to minimize contact between infected patients with nurses and doctors thus reducing their risk of exposure to infection.
The robots were given Rwandan names which are Akazuba, Ikizere, Ngabo, Mwiza and Urumuri and have since been deployed to Kayinya Covid19 Treatment facility and the Kigali international Airport in Kanombe.
The robots, being used in Rwanda’s COVID-19 treatment centers, can screen people for COVID-19 and deliver food and medication, among other tasks.
One of these robots- “Ngabo” welcomed the rest of the new robots and said that they will diligently work as a team to serve COVID-19 patients and keep the facilities free of the coronavirus
Countries around the world have been using robots to fight New Coronavirus where the machines are used to assist humans to contain the spread of the virus. Several countries including China, Japan, US, and UK have been deploying robots to handle risky tasks.