How drones and robots are being used in China in a bid to halt the deadly coronavirus

From robots handing out medical supplies to drones spraying disinfectants, medical staff in China have been making use of the latest technology in the battle to contain the widespread coronavirus.

In one of the quarantine wards at Guangdong Provincial People’s Hospital in south China’s Guangzhou City, robots are helping doctors and nurses with their work.

In a bid to reduce human-to-human contact, these robots can help medical staff deliver medicine and food to coronavirus-infected patients.

The robot can dispense medicines from doctors to patients without human to human contact. Credit: CGTN

A robot can be programmed on specific routes throughout the ward, notably to a patient's room, and it also produces automatic disinfection within its storage container.

Chen Ren, chief physician of Guangdong Provincial People’s Hospital’s Infection Department said: "These robots are made in China, and they use software to collect information automatically and build its own database."

He added: "In such a highly infectious environment, the robots help us deliver medicine, meals, quilts and clothes.

"They can also collect garbage and other items for disinfection, which reduces the chance of medical workers getting infested - this helps us a lot."

Drones are also being used in parts of China to spray disinfectant and to speak to residents amid the coronavirus epidemic lockdown, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

Officials have called on people to stay at home to prevent the spread of the virus which has killed 426 people and infected over 20,000 in the country.

Footage from Hefei in southern China showed a drone being used to spray disinfectant in public areas to try to control the virus.

In Qingzhou, Shandong province, local police officers flew drones equipped with speakers along streets and in residential compounds to spread epidemic prevention and control policies, according to CCTV.

"Using a drone to speak to residents avoids close contacts between persons, it's a novel way and acceptable among residents," officer Zhang Shuangwei told CCTV.