Spain will deploy the help of robots in the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic.
With the country now on lockdown and the number of deaths growing at an alarming rate, the Spanish government has turned to automation to speed up testing of the country’s citizens.
Spanish officials have said that they will purchase four of the new high-tech robots which will have the capability to test up to 80,000 people per day. Health experts believe that the move will help to reduce the infection rate and slow the deadly virus.
This is a massive increase on the current stats, which suggest that only around 15,000 - 20,000 are being tested daily.
Rapid testing and social isolation are both key if the country is to efficiently tackle the spread of the virus. However, testing puts the testers at risk of infection placing further strain on the Spanish health service.
It is thought that around 12% of the 35,000 infected by the virus are health workers. Using robots to carry out testing will reduce the exposure to the virus for healthcare professionals on the frontline.
On Saturday at a press conference, the head of Madrid’s Carlos III Health Institute Raquel Yotti said, “A plan to automate tests through robots has been already designed and Spain has committed to buying four robots that will allow us to execute 80,000 tests per day.”
The government has yet to provide a timeframe as to when the equipment will be in operation or how they will work.
Spain now has the second-largest number of Coronavirus cases in Europe behind Italy with over 35,000 infections and more than 2,300 fatalities.
The pandemic has continued to accelerate in the country with Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez warning that ‘the worst was yet to come”.
Madrid, which is the epicentre of the Spanish outbreak with over 1,200 deaths recently announced that it will requisition hotels and use them as makeshift hospitals to alleviate the pressure on state hospitals.
It is believed that additional financial measures of around 100 Billion Euros, may also be introduced shortly in the form of an aid package for the country’s hotel and tourism industry. Small businesses will also receive extra support under new proposals.
The news comes as the government looks to extend the current State of Alarm for another 15 days until April 11.
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