Drone delivers vaccines to remote Maharashtra village, covers 40-minute journey in just 9 minutes

The Maharashtra government plans to expand drone delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to other parts of the state.

Highlights
  • Palghar district administration conducts drone delivery trials of COVID-19 vaccines from Jawhar to village Zapp
  • On Thursday, a batch of 300 COVID-19 vaccines was delivered to a local public health centre in Zapp
  • The drone took around 9 minutes to cover the 20km distance, compared to 40min by road

The district administration of Palghar has become one of the first local bodies in the state of Maharashtra to use a drone to deliver COVID-19 vaccines. In a trial conducted by the local administration, a batch of 300 COVID-19 vaccines was transported to a remote village of Jawahar taluka in Palghar, Maharashtra. The trial was conducted successfully last week under the guidance of district collector Dr Manik Gursal.

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On Thursday, a batch of 300 COVID-19 vaccines was transported from the Jawhar to Zaap village, situated in rugged terrain. According to officials, it usually takes 40 minutes to travel between Jawhar to Zaap village, but the delivery was done in just nine minutes thanks to the drone, a difference of over 77 percent. As per an official, the distance between the two locations is about 20km. The batch of vaccines was delivered to the local public health centre.

Dr Dayanand Suryavanshi, District Health Officer, said that this was possible because of the private entities that came forward to help. The state’s Public Health Department collaborated with Blue Infinity Innovation Lab and IIFL Foundation to conduct the trial.

The Maharashtra government plans to execute the drone delivery in other parts of the state, including the Nandurbar, a tribal populated village.



“This will go a long way in the vaccination drive as the doses can now easily be sent to the doorsteps of those villagers, who find it difficult to reach the inoculation centres. To some extent, it will also help remove the misconceptions related to vaccination from the minds of people,” Dr Dayanand Suryavanshi said.

Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Udhav Thackrey, praised the efforts and said, “It’s a great example of how modern technology can be utilised for the benefit of the common masses.”