Robocop: Tunisia deploys police robots to enforce coronavirus lockdown
Last week, Tunisia's ministry of interior announced the deployment of unmanned guided robots by local robotics company Enova.
In one surreal viral video, a Tunisian man was scolded by a robot for venturing outside. When the civilian said he was out to get cigarettes, the policeman's disembodied voice angrily replied through the machine: "Okay, quickly, get your cigarettes and go home!"
Other videos shared on social media showed robots loudly urging the public to stay at home and follow the Tunisian government's health guidelines and lockdown procedures.
An interior ministry spokesman said police have arrested over 1,000 people for violating a night-time curfew in place since March 17 and hundreds of others for violating lockdown orders in place since March 22.
Hundreds of Tunisians demonstrated in a working-class district of Tunis on Tuesday, demanding the government provide promised support and protesting the lockdown, which they say has disproportionately impacted the poor.
On Monday, angry residents marched to the local government office to demand welfare payments and permits to leave their homes. Some even blocked roads and burned tyres.
Originally scheduled to end on April 4, the lockdown was extended for a further 15 days on Tuesday.
As of Thursday, Tunisia has officially reported 423 COVID-19 cases, including 12 deaths.Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay connected.