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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 303-304

Drones for fighting COVID-19 Pandemic

1 Department of Orthopaedics, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Orthopaedics, Southport and ORMSKIRK NHS Trust, Southport, UK
3 College of Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
4 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, India

Date of Submission23-Dec-2020
Date of Decision16-Nov-2021
Date of Acceptance23-Nov-2021
Date of Web Publication31-Dec-2021

Correspondence Address:
Mohd Javaid
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/cmrp.cmrp_85_20

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How to cite this article:
Vaishya R, Iyengar KP, Khan IH, Javaid M. Drones for fighting COVID-19 Pandemic. Curr Med Res Pract 2021;11:303-4

How to cite this URL:
Vaishya R, Iyengar KP, Khan IH, Javaid M. Drones for fighting COVID-19 Pandemic. Curr Med Res Pract [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Aug 12];11:303-4. Available from: http://www.cmrpjournal.org/text.asp?2021/11/6/303/334584

Drones are helpful to evaluate certain specific tasks related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In large numbers of such cases, drones have been used to map and tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and manage global responses. It creates notification alerts during the ongoing situation and helps the health monitoring system. The main application of this technology is to screen people from a distance, which may be affected by COVID-19. It provides a surveillance platform to identify crowded people. This technology helps to identify whether people are maintaining the required social distancing. It provides live and real-time data, which is helpful to proper awareness of the COVID-19 ongoing situation. Various countries have successfully used this technology, to some extent, in the present pandemic, for example, France, Spain, China, Indonesia, Ireland, USA, etc. However, some countries like Britain have condemned it because of privacy issues.[1]

COVID-19 is the name given, where CO comes from 'COrona' VI is for VIrus and D is for Disease, and 19 is the originating year 2019. The novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) crisis started in Wuhan, China, in December 2019[2] and has spread worldwide. The World Health Organisation formally declared the nCoV outbreak a pandemic on 11 March 2020.[3] The nCoV strain (nCOV) is a newer strain from a large family of viruses that causes a wide range of respiratory illnesses, from the common cold to more severe diseases, including pneumonia. Modes of transmission are predominantly by droplets sprayed by affected individuals, contact with patient respiratory secretions, contaminated surfaces and equipment. Currently, there is no available treatment or vaccination, and only supportive measures are being recommended. Subsequently, the only way to prevent infection is to avoid exposure to the virus, personal hygiene and social distancing strategies, and the same has been reflected in the principle of 'social distancing '. The lockdown of towns and cities prevents and delays transmission of the disease and makes PPE available for personal protection.

There is an urgent requirement of awareness among the people about this disease and the need for proper screening, prevention and management of the infected patients. Some research is already being carried out, and reports are being freely accessible.[4] High-risk patients for acquiring this infection include the elderly (>60 years), those with underlying chest and lung diseases and those with low immunity due to several diseases such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. COVID-19 is primarily a respiratory disease, where it severely damages the lung and respiratory tract tissues and thereby leads to respiratory failure in severe cases and death. There is an urgent need for the availability of fast-track diagnostic tests of the patients infected by COVID-19.

Drone technology is applied for the current public health crisis of the COVID pandemic. It can help fight the COVID-19 pandemic by providing unique and innovative solutions for the benefit of society during this crisis.[5],[6] Drones can offer several advantages during the pandemic, namely they can minimise human interactions (thus preventing viral transmission), can speed up transport by as much as 50% (compared with regular vehicle road transport) and can also be used to reach remote areas more easily and quickly than the standard modes of transportation. [Table 1] summarises several suitable applications of drones for fighting the pandemic of COVID-19.
Table 1: Applications of drones in coronavirus disease-2019 pandemic

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In the future, drones would be helpful for researchers to capture visual information from the skies. This could be used to analyse all information during the management of people and helpful to fight for many other upcoming disease outbreaks of similar nature and thus would be utilised in an impending crisis.

This main limitation of the paper is the limited literature on the use of drones in the healthcare delivery, epidemics and pandemics of the diseases like COVID-19. We believe that it has enormous potential in these situations, and its capabilities are not yet fully utilised to fight this virus. However, it holds the promise for drone delivery of medical supplies such as personal protective equipment, COVID-19 test kits and test results; medication delivery in rural areas that are not easily accessible and remote monitoring of patient symptoms, all with minimal personal contact and maximum safety for healthcare providers.[7],[8]

In the COVID-19 outbreak, drones can provide essential support to fight the virus. Varieties of drones are used to monitor the lockdown situation. These were used to control the crowd in public places during the COVID-19 outbreak. The people who are not wearing a mask are identified quickly, and drones are helpful to spray disinfectants in public spaces and are used to deliver consumer items to avoid or keep limited human contact. It has excellent potential to positively impact the COVID-19 virus, help identify the high-risk areas and send notifications regarding these areas to concerned authorities. Researchers can use this technology effectively to simulate and predict the danger and spread of this virus. Various countries have used this technology to identify the people who violate the lockdown order, particularly in the critical 'hotspot' zones.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Gaulkin T. Will Coronavirus Invite the World to Meet Big Brother? Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists; April 01, 2020. Available from: https://www.google.co.in/amp/s/thebulletin.org/2020/04/drone-pandemic-will-coronavirus-invite-the-world-to-meet-big-brother/amp/. [Last accessed on 2020 Dec 15].  Back to cited text no. 1
Zhu N, Zhang D, Wang W, Li X, Yang B, Song J, et al. A novel coronavirus from patients with pneumonia in China, 2019. N Engl J Med 2020;382:727-33.  Back to cited text no. 2
WHO Coronavirus Dashboard. Available from: https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/685d0ace521648f8a5beeeee1b9125cd. [Last accessed on 2020 Apr 13].  Back to cited text no. 3
World Health Organization. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public. Internet Publication; 2020.  Back to cited text no. 4
Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): Prevention and treatment. Internet Publication; 2020.  Back to cited text no. 5
Covid-19: Drones Take Italians' Temperature and Issue Fines. The Star; April 11, 2020. Available from: https://www.thestar.com.my/tech/tech-news/2020/04/11/covid-19-drones-take-italians-temperature-and-issue-fines. [Last accessed on 2020 Dec 15].  Back to cited text no. 6
Meszaros L. Drone technology: A new ally in the fight against COVID-19. MDLinx 2020. Available from: https://www.mdlinx.com/internal-medicine/article/6767. [Last accessed on 2020 Dec 15].  Back to cited text no. 7
Skorup B, Haaland C. How Drones Can Help Fight the Coronavirus. Mercatus Center Research Paper Series, Special Edition Policy Brief; 2020.  Back to cited text no. 8


  [Table 1]


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