India Covid crisis: Now, drones to drop vaccines in Telangana
The government will now launch its 'medicine from the sky' trials in remote locations.
People living in remote parts of Telangana can heave a sigh of relief now that the state government has got approval from the Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation to deliver anti-Covid vaccines using drones.
According to the ministry, the Telangana government had sought exemption from Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) rules for delivering vaccines by deploying drones.
The state government will now launch its ‘medicine from the sky’ trials in Vikarabad district and other remote locations, said a spokesperson. “Each drone would carry a combination of dummy vials and regular vaccines over the course of the trials and the performance would be recorded in detail,” said the official. “This data shall be used to guide further policies regarding full-scale adoption.”
The area hospital will be the take-off site and public health centres and sub-centres at landing sites will collect the medicine and vaccinate the villagers in the area. The approval for delivery under the Visual line of sight range is valid for a year.
“The approval from civil aviation ministry is highly appreciated and we look forward to working with the ministry in conducting these trials in the safest manner by strict adherence to SOPs and having risk mitigation strategies in place,” said Jayesh Ranjan, principal secretary, Telangana government. “The success of this programme has the potential to disrupt the healthcare industry and save many lives during emergencies and in less accessible geographies.”
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