The evolution of technology has always lent assistance to mankind in a need of time, be it in manufacturing for performing complex tasks or in any disaster. It is not just helping in keeping the work going but also assisting in complying with the rules and advisories issued by the government. Currently, as the world is caught under the outbreak of the novel coronavirus Covid -19, technology has turned out to be the biggest savior. Whether it is automation, robots or other disruptive tech, all are playing a significant role this time. The unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or Drones are one such technology that would be a significant solution for the coronavirus pandemic.
The outbreak of Covid-19 has changed the entire way of how we work, how we meet and greet each other, and how we learn things. These all have forced public health authorities to explore and develop new ways to deliver healthcare.
Here are some ways drones are assisting in addressing the coronavirus pandemic across the world.
In China, the government has been piloting ways to leverage drones to respond to coronavirus. As drones have already been used to spray pesticides for farming applications, it is now used to spray disinfecting chemicals in some public spaces and on epidemic prevention vehicles traveling between impacted areas in the country. Ensuring the safety of aerial disinfection operations, XAG Technology, China Agricultural Machinery Distribution Association, DJI Agriculture, China Agricultural University Research Centre for Medical Equipment and Application Technology, among others related agencies jointly published a series of operational guidance and technical specifications to communicate with local authorities and ensure that all efforts were conducted safely and scientifically.
According to reports, drones equipped with loudspeakers have been telling roaming citizens to stay at home and away from coronavirus in Spain, Kuwait and UAE. In China, drones have provided a similar type of surveillance as well as transported medical and quarantine supplies to trim down people’s exposure to each other and reduce delivery time. Nagaland is also using drones for creating awareness to prevent the spread of the deadly virus. Reportedly, the Nagaland State Disaster Management Authority (NSDMA), Home Department and Nagaland Geographical Information System (NGIS) jointly sent out drones in the skies of Kohima, informing locals about the do’s and don’ts of Covid-19.
In India, Drones have been deployed to warn people against breaching restrictions. Considering reports, there were more booked cases against the violations on the second day of the three-week coronavirus lockdown in the country. Drones are able to visualize expansive areas and communicate in complicated spaces. As there are some challenges to monitor and communicate in dense, urban areas during the panic around Covid-19, authorities can more efficiently scan an area and broadcast a message using drones, such as to use masks or remain inside if the area is infected. This can simultaneously help in keeping officials away from close contact with potentially infected people.
With the risk of a pandemic, governments around the world have often encouraged citizens to limit their exposure and stay in their homes. This has put strains on package and food delivery systems, which are themselves a potential vector of contamination. In this scenario, drone delivery quickly became a feasible alternative. From delivering medical samples to foods or consumer packages, drones can significantly reduce unnecessary human contact throughout the transport cycle. It can also give pace to feedback for critical tests needed by patients and medical workers. Most drones can be easily customized with a payload drop mechanism to deliver packages up to 6 KGs, without risk to both parties. Drone delivery of consumer items can also make sure that people have access to food and other goods, and make it easier for citizens to keep stay at home and reduce human contact.
Furthermore, the coronavirus outbreak has led to significant experimentation across the world with a wide range of emerging technologies, including drones. This is creating robust coordination between the public and private sectors, which is essential to fight against this pandemic.