I-Drone Materializes Delivery Of The Vaccination; The First Legit Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Technology Based Model Launched
4 October 2021(Monday) marked the pivotal launch of the life savior model called, ICMR’s Drone Response and Outreach in North East (i-Drone) by the Health Minister, (Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare) Mansukh Mandaviya, to ensure the necessary healthcare supplies such as medications and vaccines within the reach of the citizen in the remotest areas.
The first strategic delivery-based project under ‘Antyodaya’ will utilize ‘Make in India’ drones to transport COVID-19 vaccines to reach everywhere in the country. The Unmanned Aerial vehicles (UAV)/drones (i-Drone) have been skillfully crafted to carry out the distribution in those areas that are at times, beyond the ambit of one’s reach especially like the difficult terrains of the Northeast. With the collaboration of ICMR and IIT (Indian Institute of Technology), Kanpur conducted several tests on the capacity of drones to carry and transfer vaccines with utmost safety.
In the current scenario, the permissions have been granted implementation in Manipur and Nagaland, as well as Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The drone has been used to cover an aerial distance of 15 kilometers from Bishnupur district hospital to Loktak lake, Karang island in Manipur for administration at the PHC (Public Health Centre). The drone successfully covered an actual road distance of 26 kilometers between the two locations mentioned above. As a result, 10 beneficiaries received their first dosage and eight received their second dosages of vaccines.
Furthermore, the Health Minister, Mansukh Mandaviya stated that the drones would be an effective means in transporting not only the vaccines but also essential medical aids or supplies which would constructively resolve the issue of bridging the gaps in the current vaccine delivery mechanisms. He extended his regards to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, DGCA and the Airport Authority of India for their kind support as well as congratulated ICMR and all those associated with the enterprise.