Viruses: in Italy, robots at the bedside

US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — “Robots are tireless assistants. They cannot be contaminated, they are never sick”: these recruits are dubbed by the head of the intensive care unit at Circolo hospital in Varese in Italy (north), overwhelmed by coronavirus patients.

Controlled remotely, the six robots recently acquired by the hospital are working with patients, verifying vital parameters or triggering procedures essential for keeping these hard-hit patients alive. Some of the robots are white, with screens and sensors on what acts as a head, others, simpler, look like a small black broom on wheels with a rectangular screen head. All seem to have come out of a futuristic film.

By controlling these electronic jewels remotely, doctors and nurses at this Varese hospital protect themselves and save on protective equipment. And according to doctors, these little robots have another advantage: they make certain patients smile.

Close to the Swiss border, Varese is one of the most spared areas in Lombardy, a region which accounts for more than half of the deaths in Italy. However, his hospital received many patients from hard-hit areas, such as Bergamo, where health services were creaking everywhere.

In Lombardy, medical personnel have been “hard hit by the virus. The fact that these robots cannot be infected is something wonderful,” says Francesco Dentali.

According to the Higher Institute of Health, almost 10% of the 120,000 officially infected people in the country belong to medical personnel.

The order of doctors has drawn up a list of 70 doctors who have died since the start of the pandemic, without being able to specify whether or not these deaths are attributable to the virus.

With nearly 15,000 dead (including 8,300 in Lombardy), Italy is the most bereaved country in the world by the Covid-19, according to official reports.

But the number of deaths is undoubtedly much higher as evidenced by the first data on excess mortality in the affected areas.


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The article is written and prepared by our foreign editors from different countries around the world – material edited and published by Ordo News staff in our US newsroom press.