Imphal, Oct 5: Drones(Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) are used in delivering Covid 19 vaccines for the first time in South Asia from a district hospital to a public health centre located at a lake island in Manipur on Monday.
Confirming the introduction of new step of vaccination program in a tweet on Monday, the state Chief Minister N Biren Singh wrote,"For the first time in South-East Asia, the State Govt in collaboration with ICMR launched a drone to deliver 900 doses of Covid vaccine from Bishnupur District Hospital to the PHC in Karang Island."
"This technology-driven initiative is being taken up to mitigate the difficulties in delivering the crucial vaccine in rough terrains. We are committed to leave no stone unturned to save the precious lives of the people," he added.
According to official sources, the pioneering initiative of ICMR((Indian Council of Medical Research)'s project – Drone Resource and Outreach in North East India (i-Drone) successfully delivered covid vaccine from Loukoipat (Bishnupur) to Karang Island in Loktak Lake within 15 minutes against the actual driving time of one hour by road.
Earlier in the day, the i-Drone project was formally launched by the Union health minister Minister Mansukh Mandaviya from New Delhi on a virtual mode in presence of central officials. Terming the day's vaccine delivery from 'plain to island' as the first in SouthEast Asia, the ICMR officials, said 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.The delivery of Covid 19 vaccine by drone at Bishnupur was organised by the District Administration and District Health Society, Bishnupur in association with ICMR.
The Additional Chief Secretary V Vumlunmang (Health & Family Welfare), Head ECD and Director, ICMR-NARI Dr Samiran Panda, State Mission Director Dr N Shyamjai Singh, State Immunization Officer Dr T Manihar Singh, Ex-MLAs Govindas Konthoujam and S Bira Singh.