Coronavirus: First EU disinfection robots arrive in hospitals

Today two Slovenian hospitals received two of the first robots purchased by the Commission to disinfect patient rooms, thus helping reduce and contain the spread of coronavirus. A further 29 disinfection robots are deployed to hospitals in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, Croatia, Lithuania, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. These robots can disinfect a standard size patient room in as quickly as 10 minutes by using ultraviolet light and disinfect over 18 rooms in one charge. The aim is to ensure a sterile environment in hospitals without exposing staff to unnecessary risk. Since this is a physical process rather than one using a chemical disinfectant, it is safer for the hospital staff as they do not need to handle, transport or store toxic, hazardous or corrosive chemicals anymore. Cleaning staff operate the robot remotely via a mobile application and the operation is started from outside the room to be disinfected, so no healthcare worker is present during the process. Supplied by the Danish company UVD Robots, which won an emergency procurement tender, the devices are part of the Commission’s effort to provide useful and necessary equipment to Member States in aid of tackling the pandemic. In total, €12 million are available from the Emergency Support Instrument to purchase 200 robots.