Hotels with robots on staff are treating mild Covid-19 patients

Two hotels in Tokyo are being used to quarantine and treat Covid-19 patients with mild or no symptoms.

The hotels have two robots on staff which greet the residents and keep the hotel clean.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has taken charge of the two hotels giving it a combined capacity of 2,800 rooms for potential patients.

The facilities will be staffed by doctors and nurses and the people staying there will be ones with mild or no symptoms, to ease the burden on medical facilities and free up hospital beds for more serious cases.

There’s an array of technology on hand to monitor each patient’s condition.

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‘We especially wanted the citizens of Tokyo to see the opening of these hotels and understand the merits of staying at a hotel for recovery, and feel assured for their recovery process. Doctors and nurses will be stationed here at all times, so compared to staying at home, there is more assurance,’ said Naoko Kubota, Senior Director for Planning, Bureau of General Affairs, Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

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Two robots will also be operating at the hotels for the first time.

One is Pepper robot, already popular in Japan, charged with greeting people with positive messaging.

The other robot is a cleaning robot which will be operating in the hotel lobbies – which are designated as red zones – to reduce human access to those areas.

The robot has obstacle and people avoidance capabilities.

‘We wanted to use robotics technology, which Japan is renowned for, to realize a comfortable and pleasant environment at the hotel. For example, we are introducing a cleaning robot this time for this lobby here, which would usually be considered a Red Zone. We will be trying out these cleaning robots instead of people for cleaning this area,’ said Kubota.

The lobby will also allow guest patients to access health management applications on computers and tablets to record their own temperatures and verify symptoms.

Japan isn’t the only country looking to robots to staff its facilities – Italy recently tried the same approach.

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