The district administration of Maharashtra’s Palghar in a first attempt of its kind, used drones to deliver Covid-19 vaccine doses to a remote village located in rugged terrain on Thursday. A batch of 300 vaccines were transported from Jawhar to Zaap village as a part of the experiment in just a few minutes which otherwise would have taken 40 minutes for health workers to travel in that remote part of the state. The vaccines were received by the local public health center, district administration said in an official statement. The distance of 20 kms was covered by the drone in 9 minutes, reported PTI.
District health officer Dr Dayanand Suryavanshi told PTI that private entities further helped in making the exercise a success. Suryavnashi further added that he had hoped for drones to take the vaccination campaign to the doorsteps of villagers who cannot reach the inoculation centers and in a way would also remove various misconceptions related to vaccination. By evening, 300 tribal villagers were administered the doses of the vaccine in the comfort of their own hamlet.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackrey also lauded the effort of using modern technology for medical purposes and with the health department decided to use it more extensively for sending live saving drugs, blood pouches, vaccines etc for emergency cases, reported PTI. Union civil aviation minister, Jyotiraditya Scindia launched the first of its kind project to deliver drugs and vaccines through drones at Vikarabad in Telangana. The project ‘Medicines from the Sky’ was launched on September 11.
MoCA also liberalised Drone Rules, 2021 in August easing drone operations in the country for medical delivery. Since then vaccines had been delivered to rough and non-motorable terrains of North East Indian and North Indian states through drones, news agency PTI reported.