Drones to deliver Covid-19 vaccines in India’s remote corners? Govt invites bids

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Delivery of Covid-19 vaccine drones will help provide important supplies to remote corners of India. The center has agreed to a feasibility study in April.

The Centre had approved ICMR's request to study delivery of Covid vaccines through drones in April this year.
The Centre had approved ICMR’s request to study delivery of Covid vaccines through drones in April this year.

The people who lived in the far corners of the country might immediately get a Covid-19 vaccine through the drone. HLL Infra Tech Services Limited, on behalf of the Indian Medical Research Council (ICMR), on Friday invites an expression of interest in delivery of medical supplies (vaccines / drugs) by unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) in certain locations in India.

The company said that ICMR would involve UAV operators to operate outside the visual line of the site (BVLOS) in the previously determined flight path or previously approved and provided the Covid-19 vaccine. It has also provided a proforma for interested parties to propagate it.

HLL has provided specifications for UAV requirements. As per the company’s record, the drone must be able to cover the minimum 35km air distance at a minimum vertical height of 100 meters, take off and bring a minimum load of 4kg, and can return to the home base.

HLL has explained that parachute based shipments will not be preferred.

The proposed agreement will apply for 90 days, and can be extended depending on the performance of UAV operators and program needs, further HTLS said.

It came almost two months after the Ministry of Civil Aviation (Moca) and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) provided parole to ICMR to conduct a feasibility study of the Covid-19 vaccine using drones. ICMR has partnered with IIT-Kanpur for this project.

The center says that exceptions will apply for a period of one year or until further orders.

Meanwhile, the FLIPKART e-commerce company on Friday said that he had partnered with the Telangana Government for sending Covid-19 vaccines and other important supplies using drones in the remote part of the country. Before launching the ‘drugs from the sky’ project, the six-day pilot project will be carried out in Telangana.

“Using drones to provide health services to people in remote and inaccessible areas is the only initiative that has been done in our country and we are happy to live this initiative to work with partners like Flipkart,” said Jayesh Ranjan, “said Jayesh Ranjan, “Jayesh said,” said Jayesh Ranjan, “said Jayesh Ranjan,” said Jayesh Ranjan, “Main Secretary (IT and I & C), Telangana Government

He added that it would walk away in testing the best technology solutions in his class to plug in the crisis in the future.

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