Pasig City, a part of Metro Manila that is currently on an “enhanced community quarantine” in the Philippines, has deployed drones to help fight the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.
According to local media, Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto has ordered the deployment of drones to disinfect areas of the city.
The DJI MG-1P drones, manufactured by Asia’s largest manufacturer of smart drones, DJI, are described as “octocopter drones with a 10-liter payload” and cost P1 million [US$19,400] each.
The drones were originally designed to spray pesticides on fields of crops, however, Sotto appears to be following China’s lead and will be using the technology to help fight the spread of the coronavirus.
Yahoo! News reports that the drones were deployed on Thursday as workers in hazmat suits flew them throughout the city, spraying a sterilizing agent designed to kill the novel coronavirus and halt the spread of infection.
Coronavirus in the Philippines
According to the latest data, the number of COVID-19 (the disease caused by the novel coronavirus) continues to climb in the Philippines. At the time of writing, there are more than 215 confirmed cases in the country – the majority of them in Metro Manila – and 17 people have died from the disease.
On March 9th, President Rodrigo Duterte officially declared a public health emergency, stating that the coronavirus “constitutes an emergency that threatens national security which requires a whole-of-government response.”
Earlier this week, nearly 50 million people – about half of the country – were placed on lockdown. The south-east Asian country also became the first to close its financial markets due to the virus, though they have since re-opened.
Countries tap technology to combat coronavirus
Worldwide, many countries have begun using technology particularly robots and drones to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.
In Spain, drones fitted with speakers are being used to warn people to stay in their homes while the country is in lockdown.
Featured image courtesy of DJI.