KIGALI, Rwanda

Rwanda’s Health Ministry announced Tuesday it had acquired three robots to clean and disinfect COVID-19 treatment centers and hospitals as part of more comprehensive efforts to stem the spread of the virus.

Each of the disinfectant robots can disinfect up to 15 rooms over an eight-hour shift. According to the ministry, they are expected to improve infection prevention control in treatment centers and other areas due to their speed and efficiency.

The robots will help mitigate hospital-acquired infections and minimize the risk of more infections. Sabin Nsanzimana, the director-general of Rwanda Biomedical Center, told reporters in the capital Kigali.

The move comes as the latest in Rwanda’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic since its outbreak.

Last year, the East African country introduced robots in screening, which helped minimize infection risks at treatment centers.

As of Monday, Rwanda’s COVID-19 cases reached 16,621, with 3,769 active cases and 223 deaths.

On Monday, the government allowed resumption of businesses in Kigali with essential staff, not more than 30% capacity, as the country began easing its second coronavirus lockdown in the capital.

The country’s land borders also remain closed, movement between the capital and the provinces is still restricted. A night curfew also remains in place from 7 p.m. to 4 a.m.

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