In a first, a drone delivered vaccines to people living in Manipur’s ‘floating islands’ in Loktak Lake.
India is the first nation in Southeast Asia to send vaccines in an unmanned aerial craft.
The ICMR successfully delivered the jabs from Manipur’s Bhishnupur via Loktak Lake to the Karang Island, ND TV reported.
ICMR has reportedly planned to deliver vaccines to two more districts of Manipur with drones in the coming days.
The fully ‘Made-in-India’ drone flew from the Bishnupur District Hospital in automatic mode and reached the Karang Health Centre, nearly 31 km away, in just 15 minutes.
“Addressed launch of ICMR’s initiative for ‘drone-based vaccine delivery system’ in North-Eastern India. Covering 31 km in 15 minutes, vaccines were transported from Bishnupur District Hospital to Karang Health Centre, Loktak Lake, Manipur. This distance usually takes 3-4 hours,” Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted.
The drone technology will speed up the last mile deliveries of healthcare supplies, the minister said.
“Along with vaccine transportation, drone technology would speed up healthcare-related supply to the last mile and expand the supply scope of life-saving & emergency medicines,” he tweeted.
“Vaccines have been delivered today. Tomorrow, lifesaving drugs can be delivered through drones in critical medical situations. Pesticides and urea can be sprayed by this,” Mandaviya said.
“Under the vaccination campaign, despite all the difficulties, India will soon touch the 100-crore vaccination milestone. Now, we are using technology to make the difficult roads easier,” he said.