'Made in India' Drone Used to Transport COVID-19 Vaccines for First Time in South Asia - Video

© REUTERS / DADO RUVIC3D-printed small toy figurines, a syringe and vial labelled "coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine" are seen in front of India flag
3D-printed small toy figurines, a syringe and vial labelled coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine are seen in front of India flag - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.10.2021
Even though the COVID-19 vaccination drive has picked up pace in India, it is challenging to deliver vaccines to some regions. The federal government is making various efforts to provide the vaccines in such places.
The Health and Family Welfare Minister of India Mansukh Mandaviya on Monday launched the Indian Council of Medical Research’s (ICMR) vaccine delivery model --Drone Response and Outreach in North East (i-Drone) to facilitate COVID-19 vaccine delivery to tough and hard-to-reach terrains of the Northeast through drones.
The federal health minister said this is for the first time that a 'Made in India' drone has been used in South Asia to transport COVID-19 vaccines over an aerial distance of 15 km in 12-15 minutes. The drone covered the distance from Bishnupur district hospital to Loktak Lake, Karang Island in the Indian state of Manipur. The actual road distance between these locations is 26 km.
“We can use drones in delivering important life-saving medicines, collecting blood samples. This technology can also be used in critical situations. This technology may prove a game-changer in addressing the challenges in health care delivery, particularly health supplies in difficult areas,” Mandaviya said.
ICMR conducted an initial study in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology (Kanpur), the country’s premier engineering institution, to test the capacity of drones to carry and transfer vaccines safely. The study was conducted in Manipur, Nagaland and Andaman and Nicobar.
These studies provided promising results on the basis of which the Federal Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and other regulatory authorities granted permission to fly drones beyond the visual line of sight.
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