Telangana government to deploy drones for faster delivery of COVID-19 vaccine

The Centre has granted conditional exemption to the Telangana government for deployment of drone to conduct experimental delivery of covid-19 vaccines.

Ministry of Civil Aviation stated that, ‘The drone usage permission has been granted for conducting experimental delivery of Covid-19 vaccines within Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) Range using drones. The permission exemption is valid for a period of one year or until further orders’.

Trials will also assist in assessing conditions such as population, degree of isolation, geography etc. to identify regions that specifically require drone deliveries, later it added.

Earlier in April, the government granted conditional exemption to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for conducting a feasibility study of covid-19 vaccine delivery using drones in collaboration with IIT Kanpur.

The first stage for drone deployment requires drones to remain in the line of sight of the operator at all times. If the first stage is deemed successful, then the next stage of trials involve operating the drone beyond the line of sight of the operator. The grant of these permissions is intended to achieve the dual objectives of faster vaccine delivery and improved healthcare access by ensuring primary health care delivery at the citizen’s doorstep.

Using drones for vaccine delivery will further limit human exposure to Covid hotspots ensure access to healthcare to the last mile, especially in remote areas, and improve the medical supply chain.