Self-driving vehicle to distribute personal protective equipment in Sharjah

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The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has announced it is deploying a self-driving vehicle to distribute personal protective equipment including masks, gloves and sanitizers to residents and workers of a residential complex in Sharjah.

The initiative, which was implemented in cooperation with the Sharjah’s Family Health Promotion Center, and Huawei, comes as part of the ministry’s efforts being made to contain the spread of coronavirus, using the latest Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies and fifth generation technology (5G).

Dr. Amin Hussein Al Amiri, Assistant Under-Secretary for Public Health Policy and the Licensing Sector in the ministry, affirmed the ministry’s keenness to incorporate AI technologies and smart techniques into its COVID-19 awareness programmes. Deploying the autonomous shuttle is a step in the right direction towards strengthening the prevention and control of COVID-19 as it significantly reduces social contact while at the same time saves more time and effort.

AI technologies are very useful during these challenges’ times. Not only will they help protect the medical cadres against the virus, but they will also save their time, which can be harnessed to treat patients,” Al Amiri said.

He added: “The ministry is moving forward in line with the UAE Vision, which aims to place the country among the world’s top nations in making the most of autonomous vehicles to render smart government services. The recently launched initiative also comes in implementation of the UAE’s Fourth Industrial Revolution Strategy, which aims to take advantage of technological advancement based on artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, 5G and other smart technology solutions.

The UAE: State-of-the-art infrastructure

Dr Al Amiri noted that the UAE is more qualified than others to capitalize on AI technologies in implementing government projects including healthcare ones thanks to its state-of-the-art infrastructure coupled with conducive legislative environment, flexible laws and regulations that our wise leaderships has provided.

He emphasized that all public and private entities are now working hand in hand to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19, because of which the UAE has proven its ability to swiftly conquer and confront crises with great confidence, speed, owning to its unique capabilities, technologies, plans and proactive strategies to face risks.

The recently launched initiative (autonomous vehicle) is the latest in a series of awareness campaigns launched by the ministry to encourage the public to follow various precautionary measures including physical distancing, wearing masks and gloves for their own safety, following proper health guidelines and disinfecting commonly used surfaces.

Through its awareness initiatives, the ministry aims introduce people to the main mode of transmission for the virus, how to protect themselves, what are the symptoms that appear on an infected person, and what steps should be taken in case of developing symptoms, which are to isolate the infected, and immediately contact health authorities to take necessary measures.