COVID-19 Test samples delivered by Zipline drones in Ghana

Zipline gained worldwide repute by helping medical agencies in supplying rabies vaccines, anti-venom, blood samples, and other medical supplies to far-flung areas.

Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, Zipline has been assisting government agencies in Ghana to keep tabs on their coronavirus cases. The company also delivers test samples from rural areas to big cities. This is the first time drones are flying towards densely populated areas. It indicates a change in strategy to adapt to this unique public health situation. Test samples collected in remote areas are then shipped.

The operation: April 15 was the first-day COVID-19 test samples from rural health facilities were packed into 4 drones, in accordance with WHO guidelines of storage, then shipped to the Zipline distribution center in Omenako, Ghana. The drones flew an impressive 70 miles round trip to Accra, Ghana and delivered the packages unscathed for tests and analysis to be done. The parcels were released via parachute once at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research.

Drone technology is highly advantageous in that:

Saves time as the parcel arrives in hours rather than days by a truck. In these times of the COVID-19 crisis, companies like Zipline are transporting PPE, blood, and medicine to other facilities across Ghana. It’s also worth noting that drone delivery is purely contactless. This is a remarkable moment for the drone industry as we get to see how they can help out during a pandemic.

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