Manipur delivers Covid vaccine from ‘plain to island’ using drone, first in Southeast Asia

Covid-19 vaccines were delivered from Loukoipat to Karang Island using drone.

(PHOTO: Twitter)

Manipur on Monday delivered Covid-19 vaccines from Loukoipat to Karang Island using drone making the state first in Southeast Asia to deliver Covid vaccines from ‘plain to island’ using unmanned vehicle.

“For the first time in South-East Asia, the state Government in collaboration with ICMR launched a drone to deliver 900 doses of Covid vaccine from Bishnupur district hospital to the PHC in Karang island. The technology-driven initiative is being taken up to mitigate the difficulties in delivering the crucial vaccine rough terrains. We are committed to leave no stone unturned to save the previous lives of the people,” posted Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on his Facebook page.

The state also became the first state in Northeast India to deploy the Drone Resource and Outreach in North East India (i-DRONE).

The fete was achieved during a launched programme of i-Drone organised by District Administration and District Health Society, Bishnupur in association with Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Mansukh Mandaviya launched the initiative through virtual mode from Nirman Bhawan, New Delhi.

During the field testing using an unmanned aerial vehicle or drone for vaccine delivery on Monday, the drone delivered 900 Covid-19 vaccines from Loukoipat to Karang Island in Bishnupur covering a distance of 25 km.

The drone-based vaccine transportation took approximately 15 minutes to deliver which, otherwise will take about one hour to deliver through road transport. According to ICMR officials, Friday’s vaccine delivery from ‘plain to island’ is the first in South East Asia.

ICMR officials also mentioned that i-DRONE project was started for the first time in Manipur to field test vaccine delivery in difficult terrains of the country with study sites selected from Bishnupur, Imphal West, Churachandpur and Tamenglong districts.

V Vumlunmang, additional chief secretary (H& FW), Dr. Samiran Panda, head ECD and director, ICMR-NARI, Dr. N. Shyamjai Singh, State Mission Director, Dr. T. Manihar Singh, state immunization Officer, Ex-MLAs Govindas Konthoujam and S Bira Singh, ADM Bishnupur H Bobby Sharma, SP, CMO among others participated in the function. (With inputs from DIPR)

First Published:Oct. 4, 2021, 10:11 p.m.

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