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Fraser Health buys 14 new germ-killing robots to fight COVID-19

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Disinfecting robots put to work to clean some B.C. hospitals' Coronavirus: Disinfecting robots put to work to clean some B.C. hospitals
Coronavirus: Disinfecting robots put to work to clean some B.C. hospitals – Dec 2, 2020

Fraser Health is adding some high-tech devices to help fight COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.

The health authority has purchased 14 new ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, or UVGI, robots to help disinfect hospitals, alongside two existing robots named Phoenix and Haley.

The robots, which will be used in hospitals across the region, emit short pulses of UV light, which damage the DNA and RNA of harmful pathogens, including COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2), C. difficile (Clostridioides difficile), CPO (Carbapenemase-producing organisms), C. auris (Candida auris), and MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).

Click to play video 'Fraser Health purchases germ-killing robots' Fraser Health purchases germ-killing robots
Fraser Health purchases germ-killing robots – Dec 2, 2020

The robots light up a room with ultraviolet light as they disinfect and can do the job in about 20 minutes.

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Two of the new ones have already been named Bonnie and Henry after provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

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“We are grateful for the generosity of our community,” Dr. Victoria Lee, president and CEO of Fraser Health, said in a release on Wednesday. “It is through their support that our UVGI program has grown from a pilot project with two robots to a comprehensive program with 16 in just four years.”

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UVGI disinfection, which was introduced in 2016, has helped reduce some hospital-acquired infections, such as C. difficile and MRSA, officials said.

“Environmental cleaning is an essential component of our multi-pronged approach to reducing hospital-acquired infections,” chief medical health officer Dr. Elizabeth Brodkin said. “We have made tremendous strides in recent years in enhancing our infection prevention and control practices. UVGI is another layer to keep our patients safe.”

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The 14 robots cost $2 million altogether and were funded in part by donations from local hospital foundations.