Tamil Nadu has deployed robotic nurses to prevent direct contact among each other during the times of the COVID-19 pandemic. A government-run Stanley Medical College Hospital in Chennai has robots aiding patients in isolation wards with food and medicines. State Health Minister C Vijayabaskar had visited the hospital to witness the spectacle. The robot had carried a jar of water, a tumbler and a bottle of hand sanitizer to the minister to demonstrate its role in the hospital. In a tweet, he said: #update: Visited #Stanley Hospital morning. Checked the functions of #roboticnurses to be used in #corona wards, that can deliver food & medicine. This will limit the number of direct contact doctors and nurses has with patients, thus reducing the risk of infection.” The Minister, who inspected the hospital said that it would house the upcoming 100 ventilators, 500-bed COVID-19 facility and the robot will help avoid overexposure for staff nurses. “They can operate it and send food, water bottles and medicines for the patients in the COVID-19 ward,” he said. P. Balaji, dean of the hospital, said that they had staffed the robot so that the contact of a nurse with a patient is limited. “It has a two-way camera too. We can also send books for patients using the robot. Our staff need not walk into the ward frequently and this will also reduce apprehensions among them,”
While the hospital is deploying robots, some hospitals in Tamil Nadu have already deployed drones to disinfect the building and its premises. Chennai police too used drones to make public announcements regarding the awareness of COVID-19 pandemic. Similar efforts have been reported in Kerala. A Kerala-based startup, Asimov Robotics, has developed a three-wheeled robot that is capable to assist patients in isolation wards. As AI is helping out several states to fight COVID-19, Tamil Nadu reported 102 new COVID-19 cases, rising the count of positive cases in the state to 411.