Rwanda has acquired five humanoid robots to assist in COVID-19 screening as well as deliver food and drugs to patients.
The robots, given Rwandan names: Akazuba, Ikizere, Mwiza, Ngabo and Urumuri, will also act as video-conferencing links between patients and doctors.
Daniel Ngamije, the country’s Health Minister, says the robots will mainly reduce health workers’ exposure to COVID-19 patients.
“We need additional robots for other duties like disinfection in public space and we are working to get them,” he told BBC.
The robots are manufactured by a Belgium-based company. Rwanda’s health ministry says the units have a number of abilities, including: Recording and storing patient data, alerting health workers to abnormalities, warning people who aren’t wearing marks, or are wearing them improperly.
Rwanda has two COVID-19 treatment facilities – one is on the outskirts of the capital, Kigali, and the other in the south-eastern town of Nyamata.
The health ministry says there are 297 confirmed cases in the country, 203 recoveries and no deaths.