RWANDA’S government has partnered with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Japan to deploy three additional state-of-the art robots to reinforce its efforts against Covid-19.
In a statement on Tuesday the ministry of information and communications technology (ICT) and innovation said the new devices deployed at Nyarugenge district hospital were cutting-edge ultra violet light robots which would help in cleaning and disinfecting treatment centres, hospitals and places of mass gathering such as markets and offices to limit the spread of the virus.
The robots have unique features including lamps that emit ultraviolet lights destroying deadly microorganisms which might be missed during the manual cleaning process, helping to reduce infection rates for patients and health workers.
They also have the capacity to speedily clean and disinfect operating, labour and delivery, ICU and isolation discharge rooms as well as other indoor spaces. On average, one robot can disinfect a room in 32 minutes. They can also kill viruses other than SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.
‘These robots offer a faster, more effective and less labour-intensive disinfection alternative to manual cleaning,’ minister of ICT and innovation Paula Ingabire said.
‘The government has placed ICT at the centre of its transformation and the health sector is a priority sector where technology is being used to provide better health outcomes through improved service delivery, patient experience, health and safety.’
The introduction of robots in Covid-19 case management has contributed to limiting human interaction between healthcare providers and patients, the director general of the Rwanda Biomedical Centre Dr. Sabin Nsanzimana said.
‘As we introduce the use of robots in the infection prevention control activities we intend to even minimise risks of infection of our IPC staff as they conduct decontamination procedures,’ Nsanzimana said.
In addition to vaccines, the robots represent yet another triumph of modern science which will protect frontline workers and prevent the spread of disease, UNDP’s resident representative in the East African country Maxwell Gomera said.
‘Congratulations to the government of Rwanda for once again moving forcefully to confront the Covid-19 pandemic,’ Gomera said.
Rwanda has so far recorded 16,621 cases of Covid-19, out of which 223 people have died.