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  • Nana Boatemaa Sem-Danso

Drones Vs Coronavirus: The Pandemic fight taken to the skies

Aerial superiority in warfare has proven critical in determining favourable outcomes when engaged with an enemy. Military operations on land, sea or in the air are extremely difficult, if not impossible for the side that doesn’t control the sky.

Today the world grapples with a common enemy. Efforts on the ground have included calls for social distancing, reduced movement (lockdowns) and increased personal hygiene. As global infections approach 3 million, here’s a look at where drones have been complementing the fight from the air:

1. Aerial spraying & Disinfection

The coronavirus which is mainly transmitted through respiratory droplets can also be spread by touching contaminated surfaces. Drones originally designed to spray pesticides for agricultural applications have been adapted to spray disinfecting chemicals in public spaces to help reduce the rate of contamination.

2. Transport of samples

Tough terrain and long distances can significantly increase turnaround times for testing. However, transportation of samples especially from remote regions for testing has been made easier through drones. Safety is also enhanced here as drones significantly reduce human contact throughout the transport cycle.

3. Consumer Drone Delivery

Drone delivery of consumer items ensure that people have access to food and other goods during lockdowns. Indeed in some parts of China, semi isolated islands required routine grocery deliveries as goods that where shipped and ferried to each island all came to a halt.

4. Local surveillance and law enforcement

In some countries, drones are actively being used by law enforcement agencies to disperse unlawful gatherings during lockdowns and being used as a tool for surveillance and crime detection.

Commercial drones continue to prove their use case as a valuable tool. For some countries still unable to make full use of the technology due to strict regulations, perhaps this pandemic might provide the needed incentive to change that and in the process save lives

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