State governments of Karnataka and Telangana are planning to deploy drones to deliver vaccines in remote locations.

The Civil Aviation Ministry on Friday permitted the Telangana government to use drones for experimental delivery of vaccines within the visual line of sight. The ministry’s statement does not mention which particular vaccine will be part of this experimental delivery.

The Civil Aviation ministry on Twitter said it has granted conditional exemption to the Telangana government from the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Rules, 2021, for “conducting experimental delivery of vaccines using drones within the visual line of sight range".

In Karnataka, the task force led by P.C. Mohan, MP, Bengaluru (Central) has tied up with a startup Garuda Aerospace for the purpose. “For the first time in India, drone delivery of vaccines will undergo feasibility analysis and field trials in Karnataka. If successful, this could be a breakthrough in ensuring COVID-19 vaccines reach remote villages in Karnataka and geographically isolated locations across India,” Mr. Mohan said.

In Karnataka, the Drones will also be used to sanitize Primary Health Centres that are centres for both testing and vaccination in the city. Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa inaugurated the project on Friday.

Notably, The Directorate General of Civil Aviation recently granted Indian Council of Medical Research a conditional exemption for testing feasibility of drones in delivering vaccines.

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