The year 2020 witnessed a virus disrupting the way we live, crippling the world economy and causing hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions of infections worldwide. It also saw professionals such as doctors, medical staff, local police and emergency response teams take the tag of ‘frontline workers’ because of their dedication and sacrifice to serve others affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, a relatively positive trend throughout the pandemic response has been the rising use of next-gen technology. Technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, GIS and Mapping, Autonomous Machines etc. are playing a significant role in the pandemic response. Another key technology that has aided frontline workers is that of drones. From performing surveillance to spraying disinfectants and checking individuals’ temperatures for identifying symptomatic patients, countries across the world have used drones widely and effectively. Let’s look at four different ways drones have proven to be more useful than ever before – to save lives.
1. Remote Surveillance using Drones
One of the central pillars of the containment efforts for Covid-19 is the reduction of physical contact. Countries imposed lockdowns, banned social gatherings and encouraged social distancing to reduce the spread of the virus. And to ensure public compliance with these measures, they used drones equipped with cameras to survey public areas, monitor the movement of public and break-up social gatherings.
The use of drones reduced the burden on local police and health officials in ensuring compliance. Visiting all the areas and inspecting would be difficult, and remote surveillance through drones came in handy. Additionally, and more importantly, drones eliminated the risk of the personnel getting infected themselves.
2. Contact-free delivery
Coronavirus spreads through physical contact. Thus, any activity that involves social proximity must be avoided. However, transportation of essential goods such as medical supplies, sanitizers, groceries, etc. could not be stopped. Thus, in various countries, drones replaced delivery vehicles and personnel.
Contact-free deliveries through drones helped ensure the safety of the delivery and health personnel and sped up the task. As the drones had virtually limitless reach and accessibility, goods could be delivered at a fast rate.
3. Maintaining hygiene
Apart from maintaining a social distance, ensuring hygiene and disinfecting public areas is a significant component of pandemic response. To prevent the spread of Covid-19, health authorities are traditionally required to deploy sanitation workers to spray disinfectants over large areas, requiring a lot of physical effort and time. Additionally, such activity poses infection risk to the workers.
Many health authorities and government bodies employed drones equipped with disinfectant tanks for spraying in the public areas to avoid the perils of manual disinfectant spraying. The drones can cover large areas in relatively less time and are a cost-effective alternative as well.
In remote areas, where there is a lack of open communication channels, it is difficult to deliver messages of imposed lockdown, necessary precautions etc. Additionally, to ensure compliance, the public must be reminded frequently to stay indoors, wear masks, maintain social distancing etc. if found not following the rules.
Authorities devised an inexpensive and effective way of making such public announcements. Drones equipped with loudspeakers hovered over public areas and sounded the announcements to people not following the necessary protocols. Broadcasting messages using drones has helped authorities deliver important messages to people living in rural and remote areas.
With the applications mentioned above, drone technology has been significantly useful in the efforts to contain Covid-19. While the world still reels from the pandemic’s impact, the future seems to be quite favorable for the drone services industry. Covid-19 appears to have emerged as the turning point for the technology. We should hope for the continued utility of the technology in addressing more significant challenges in the future.
About CityBlue Technologies
CityBlue Technologies partners with industry-leading companies to offer the latest drone technology. Our team of certified FAA pilots provide a wide range of drone services to fit any project need and budget. We deliver quality solutions with cutting edge technology to put you on the forefront of leveraging drones. Check out our range of drone services here.