A drone supplies vaccines to people living in Manipur’s ‘floating islands’ on Loktak Lake, making India the first nation in Southeast Asia to send the vaccine in an unmanned aerial vehicle. The ‘floating islands’ are part of the hard algae floating in the freshwater lakes of Moirang district in Manipur.
ICMR, the country’s top medical agency, has successfully delivered jabs from Bishnupur in Manipur to Karang Island via Loktak Lake. Officials plan to deliver the vaccine by drone to two more districts in Manipur in the coming days.
Officials told NDTV that the fully ‘Made-in-India’ drone flew from Bishnupur District Hospital in automatic mode and reached Korang Health Center, about 31 km away. The journey by road is about four hours.
ICMR’s initiative for a ‘drone-based vaccine delivery system’ has been launched in North-East India. 4 hours, “Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandabia tweeted.
The minister said drone technology would speed up the delivery of the last mile of healthcare delivery. He tweeted, “In addition to vaccine transport, drone technology will accelerate the delivery of healthcare-related supplies to the last mile and expand the supply of life-saving and emergency medicines.”
“The vaccine has been delivered today. Tomorrow, in critical medical situations, life-saving drugs can be delivered by drone. It can be used to spray pesticides and urea,” Mr Mandabia said.
In the Karang area of Manipur, where about 500,500 people live, 0% of the population is fully vaccinated. “Despite all the difficulties, under the vaccination campaign, India will soon reach the milestone of 100 crore vaccinations. Now, we are using technology to ease the difficult road,” the health minister said.