In early April 2020, the Forum’s Aerospace and Drones community brought together more than 400 industry participants to discuss how drones can battle COVID-19 and how best to integrate them into supply-chains.
An estimated 2 billion people lack access to basic medicines – partly because they live in remote locations. Another way drones could help is delivering more directly to the elderly and vulnerable who need to self-isolate during COVID-19.
Drones have already played an important role in the fight against COVID-19, from disinfecting streets in China, to supplying medicine to a small community in Chile. Drone company Zipline has pioneered medical deliveries to rural communities in Rwanda and Ghana. Its lightweight drones deliver vital packages to clinics up to 85 kilometres away. Trips that might have taken an entire day by car could take 30 minutes or less by drone. When the coronavirus hit Africa, Zipline adapted its cargo. Its distribution centres in Ghana now hold stocks of personal protective equipment (PPE) and its drones also deliver COVID-19 test samples.
The World Economic Forum, with partners including Zipline, the World Bank and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), have been raising awareness of how to accelerate the use of drones for good in Africa and beyond.
Source: World Economic Forum, 8 May 2020. Read the full article.