National

Tokyo unveils robots that will serve coronavirus patients at hotels

Jiji, Kyodo

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government on Friday unveiled robots that will be used in two hotels housing those infected with the novel coronavirus.

The metropolitan government aims to efficiently clean the hotels, which are to house asymptomatic patients or those with light symptoms, and lower the burden on staff members.

The robots were unveiled at the Apa Hotel & Resort in the capital’s Sumida Ward, and Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike came to inspect them.

One cylindrical robot is programed to hand lunch boxes to patients and clean the hotel lobby.

Another robot, a humanoid, is designed to interact with patients. At the unveiling, the robot said, “I pray for your fast recovery,” to which Koike responded, “Let’s do our best.”

The metropolitan government also introduced an app for managing the health condition of patients at the hotels. It allows patients to record their body temperatures and other data on their physical condition, making the collection of information more efficient than when staff members phoned each patient twice a day.

The metropolitan government on April 7 began efforts to move asymptomatic patients or those with light symptoms from hospitals to hotels in order to reduce the burden on medical facilities.

Five locations, with a combined total of some 2,800 rooms, are accepting such patients, the government said.

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