Amid coronavirus battle, drones will deliver test kits and protective gear to island medical staff



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Amid the battle against the coronavirus, drones will be used to deliver COVID-19 test kits and personal protective equipment to medical staff on a remote Scottish island.

As part of the two-week trial, drone delivery specialist Skyports will transport the supplies between Oban on the Scottish mainland and a hospital on the Isle of Mull. The distance between Lorn and Islands Hospital in Oban and Iona Community Hospital in Craignure on Mull is 10 miles.

Right now, transporting medical supplies and samples from Oban’s lab and Mull’s hospital involves a long and complicated journey by sea and road, according to Skyports.

“This service will see delivery times drop from 6 hours one way by land transport and ferry to around 15 minutes, on demand, by drone, which will bring considerable savings in terms of time and resources, while helping to keep the cap. safe online delivery and medical staff, ”Skyports said in a declaration.

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“The use of drones offers real opportunities to improve services and will help enable faster diagnosis for our patients,” said Joanna Macdonald, CEO of Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership, in the statement.

Skyports delivery drone manufactured by Wingcopter in flight. The supplies are transported in the container under the drone – photo file.
(Source: Skyports)

Skyport will use drones supplied by unmanned aircraft manufacturer Wingcopter and operate a drone management system from aerospace company Thales.

NHS Scotland and local government are also involved in the trial, along with the UK Civil Aviation Authority and Department for Transport.

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With 262,547 cases and 36,996 deaths, the UK is one of the countries hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

This is not the first time that drones have been used to transport medical supplies. DHL, for example, is involved in a project to deliver medical supplies by drones to Tanzania.

Earlier this year, UPS partnered with U.S. drone delivery specialist DroneUp to test drone delivery of medical supplies to the abandoned Saint Paul’s College campus in Lawrenceville, Virginia.

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As of Tuesday morning, more than 5.51 million cases of coronavirus have been diagnosed worldwide, including more than 1.66 million in the United States, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The disease has caused more than 346,700 deaths worldwide, including more than 98,000 in the United States

Fox News’s Rebecca Kesten contributed to this article. Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers



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