NEW DELHI: The help of drones, which are being used extensively to keep an eye on people staying at home has been increased in fighting with novel coronavirus.
A pilot project is being carried out to detect people with higher temperature with the help of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) equipped with thermal scanners. Delhi government’s health department is expected to consider scaling up and deployment of the drones in the coming days said a senior official from North Delhi Municipal Corporation.
The official further said that the“Infrared thermometers can check temperature of only one person at a time. The pilot project aims to do thermal scanning of a large population. While flying above roads and markets, the drone can catch temperature anomalies in the population below. If the temperature of the skin is above average, then an individual can be selected for additional screening.The drone is equipped with thermal and night vision cameras, disinfectant tank, loudspeaker, spotlight and portable medical box. “The tank of the corona combat drone has a capacity of 10 litres. There is a small box in which we have put essentials and medicines. The drone can cover a straight road of 1.5-2km within 9-12 minutes.”
Another official said the drone can detect temperature variation from a height of 20 metres, which can help cover a large area within a short period.
The technology could be used to identify early onset of novel coronavirus in people by detecting high body temperature without any direct human intervention. “It will reduce the risk of checking staff getting infected, while also reducing the load of protective equipment used by them,” said the official.
Trials are being conducted in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and by Trichy Municipal Corporation.
The drones have been deployed during the current pandemic for delivery of foods, medicines, essential items, making public announcements, monitoring curfews and spraying disinfectants.