South Africa

Kenya deploys robots in fight against Covid-19

JOHANNESBURG - The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with Japan has on Friday handed over three smart anti-epidemic robots to support front-line health-care workers in the fight against Covid-19 in Kenya.

The three robots (RoboRafiki) are named Shujaa, Tumaini and Jasiri.

Shujaa, Tumaini and Jasiri have been programmed to collect patient information, analyse the data and provide instant statistics for further investigation, and support informed real-time decision-making.

Resident representative of the UNDP in Kenya, Walid Badawi, thanked the team for making the launch event possible.

“We are bringing the world of tomorrow to today and leapfrogging,” said Badawi.

"The smart anti-epidemic robotic solutions will mitigate the inherent risks by supporting high-exposure functionalities like temperature screening, mask detection, automatic disinfection of audio and video broadcasting and conferencing.“

Badawi said that with both wide-angle and long reach, the robots can measure the temperature of 10 to 100 people per minute at a distance of 2.5 to 3.5 metres, saving time while safely protecting front-line workers from contact transmission.

The robots can also detect individuals without masks as well as those wearing them incorrectly to alert them and inform officials for appropriate action in real-time.

Speaking during the launch, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe welcomed the robotic technology funded by the government of Japan.

“Covid-19 has shown us that disease does not respect national boundaries. Today, as we deploy the robots, we shall be a step ahead in combating the virus,” said Kagwe.

The robots will be stationed at Kenyatta National Hospital, Mbagathi Hospital and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, according to the health ministry.

So far, the East African country has confirmed 99,630 cases of Covid-19, with 1,736 deaths.

African News Agency

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