Robots join virus fight at airport

Robots are being deployed at the new airport terminal to help in the battle against Covid-19 and to provide added protection for travellers.

The Bahrain International Airport (BIA) yesterday revealed a wide range of precautionary measures being taken as a result of the pandemic, including the installation of numerous hand sanitisation stations and protective plastic shields.

In its latest Covid-19 safety update, BIA released a photograph of a robot operating at the airport along with other steps such as social distancing stickers and mandatory screening of passengers’ temperature upon entering the airport and all arriving passengers.

“Robots that use ultraviolet technology have been deployed to disinfect the airport and handrail disinfection systems have been installed at travellators and escalators,” revealed the BIA website.


“A disinfection team is also on standby 24/7 to respond to any incidents.”

In addition, passenger and staff shuttle buses are regularly disinfected and were running at 50 per cent occupancy to maintain social distancing.

It’s not the first time robotic assistance has been used in the kingdom to tackle the virus.

The Health Ministry last year announced that it was using two robots to help Covid-19 frontline workers.

The robots were assigned to isolation wards dedicated to the treatment of sick patients, as they check body temperatures and administer daily medicines.

They can communicate using 12 different languages and use facial recognition abilities to identify patients.

Meanwhile, the new terminal is restricted to passengers and staff, although exceptions are made for those accompanying passengers with reduced mobility or unaccompanied minors.

“Passengers who do not adhere to the preventive measures will be refused access to the airport,” warned the BIA.

“The measures will be regularly updated based on the latest scientific findings as the situation evolves.”

Furthermore, the BIA yesterday released a video on social media highlighting additional protection measures for passengers.

“We have implemented a wide range of extra measures that comply with the Bahrain government’s guidelines and are designed to keep you as safe as possible while travelling through BIA,” it added.

To allow time for additional screening procedures, passengers must arrive at the airport at least three hours before their flight departure time.

In addition, passengers must sign a declaration form prior to departure, agreeing to bear any medical costs while abroad, as well as mandatory Covid-19 testing once they arrive in the kingdom.

“Bahrain Airport Company, the operator and managing body of Bahrain International Airport, is committed to ensuring that our airport remains operational, clean and safe for those who need to travel,” added the website.

The BIA said that transit passengers are not required to undergo PCR testing, but will be subjected to thermal screening at the terminal.

Cabin crew, diplomatic staff, children under the age of six, and those arriving from medical travel are also exempt from undergoing Covid-19 tests.




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