A medical centre in the province of Guangdong has begun using twin robots powered by AI technology to distribute vital medicines, deliver meals and collect medical waste. The robots named “Pingping” and “An’an” use real-time imagery to monitor each ward and translate the information to a control centre at Guangdong Provincial People’s Hospital. The pair of droids can also open doors, take lifts and avoid obstructions without the need for human interaction.
Officials at the hospital said each robot is the equivalent to three delivery staff, and reduces the need for medics to enter quarantine areas.
Yu Xueqing, director of Guangdong Provincial People’s Hospital, said: “Persons who issue medicines send them distribution instructions, and they can deliver medicines from the pharmacy to the nurses’ station.
“In this process, there is no need for personnel to operate, reducing the frequency of medical staff entering the quarantine area.”
Chinese health officials today confirmed the death toll in the country from the virus had now reached 213, with the number of known cases rising from 7,711 to 9,962.
No deaths have occurred outside China, although cases have spread to at least 23 countries.
This morning Public Health England (PHE) confirmed two people staying in York have been diagnosed with the coronavirus.
The pair are being treated at the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in its specialist Airborne High Consequences Infectious Disease Centre (HCID).
It is understood the two individuals had recently travelled to the UK from China.
Professor Sharon Peacock, director of the National Infection Service at PHE, said: “Public Health England is contacting people who had close contact with the confirmed cases.
“This tried-and-tested method will ensure we are able to minimise any risk to them and the wider public.”
More than 80 Britons have now arrived back to the UK on an evacuation flight from the city of Wuhan – where the outbreak began.
The UK passengers have been taken to Arrowe Park Hospital in Wirral for a quarantine period of 14 days, where they will be housed in an NHS staff accommodation block with access to the internet.