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Updated May 22, 2020

 

Bus Station Social Distancing Rwanda
People waiting at a bus station in Kigali observe social distancing to curb the spread of COVID-19.

 

Rwanda’s Ministry of Health revealed in a series of tweets that it will be using five specialized robots to help manage the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The robots have been designed to administer temperature checks (a high fever is an early symptom of infection from SARS-CoV-2), monitor patients, and check medical records, and have the ability to screen between 50 and 150 people per minute. 

“These robots will fasten service delivery while protecting our valuable health workers against COVID-19 exposure,” said the minister of health Dr. Daniel Ngamije. 

The robots are the product of collaboration between the United Nations Development Programme and the Rwandan Ministry of Information and Communications Technology and Innovation. They are made by a Belgian company, Zora Bots.

 

An African Tech Leader

Rwanda’s turn to advanced technology to help it cope with the pandemic reflects the country’s success in transforming itself into an African tech hub. President Paul Kagame has called Rwanda the “Singapore of Africa”, alluding to Singapore’s rapid rise as an Asian economic power under former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew.

 

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