Fighting Against Covid-19 with Drones

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Nursinem Handan ŞAHAN
2018 yılında Yıldız Teknik Üniversitesi Harita Mühendisliği bölümünü onur öğrencisi olarak tamamladı. Lisans eğitimi sırasında Erasmus+ programıyla Varşova Teknoloji Üniversitesinde öğrenim gördü. Halihazırda öğrenimine İstanbul Teknik Üniversitesi Coğrafi Bilgi Teknolojileri bölümünde devam etmekte.

The COVID-19, a global pandemic that caused more than 340,000 deaths and infected more than 5 million people worldwide, make us rethink how governments, organizations, and societies around the world can work with minimum or without physical contact. This war against this invisible enemy, drones play a key role by helping authorities and people in different ways to prevent further spread of the coronavirus outbreak.

Read “How China is using technology to fight coronavirus” to learn more different technologies which are being used against Covid-19.

Surveillance

Image courtesy: Quaternium

To prevent the spread of the virus, most countries took measures like the closure of non-essential public places, ban of mass gatherings and ensuring a social distancing to limit physical contact.

The introduction of drones at this time of crisis is reducing the risk of getting infected to police officials and other staff since it enables monitoring vast swathe of area without physical engagement.

Broadcast

In addition to street surveillance, authorities are also using drones to broadcast messages and information about lockdown measures, especially in a rural area that lacks open communication channels for health information. Drones equipped with loudspeakers are used to make public announcements to keep people indoors, take necessary precautions, make social-distancing and wear a mask if stepping outside from home. China and many European countries are using drones for broadcasting messages to public.

Disinfectant Spraying

Military Emergencies Unit of Spain uses DJI’s AGRAS MG-1 drone to spray disinfect in public areas. Image courtesy: Handout

Spraying disinfectant in potentially affected areas with spraying drones which are filled with disinfectants can cover much more ground 50 times faster than traditional methods. According to DJI, the world’s largest drone maker company, a spraying UAV can carry around 16 Litre of disinfectant and cover 100,000 sq meter area in an hour.

Learn “How to Choose a Drone in 5 steps?” according to your needs.

Medicine and Grocery Deliveries

Doctors and hospitals need medical supplies and laboratory testing more than ever, and drones are the safest and fastest ways to deliver medical supplies and transport samples from hospitals to laboratories. In Wuhan, the epicenter of the pandemic, a drone is used to deliver medical supplies in the hospital.

Apart from medical supplies, drones are also being used as delivering groceries in some parts of China, the US, and Australia. These become particularly useful in red zones where outside physical contact should be minimum.

Temperature Check

During the peak of the epidemic in China, authorities were carrying out large-scale remote temperature measurement in most apartment complexes through the drones. Since people were worried about catching the infection, to avoid the face to face contact, Chinese authorities used drones equipped with infrared cameras to measure the temperature of people who was lockdown in their houses.

Other Uses

In several countries including China, Germany, and the United States, empty fields have been converted into temporary hospitals to ease the pressure on hospitals that are already functioning at full capacity. Drones are helping governments in surveying those areas and build more efficiently and with minimal human involvement.

Source: How drones are being used to combat COVID-19

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