After appearing in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019, the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus spread throughout the world. As of February 18, the death toll amounted to 1874 people, with 73 336 confirmed cases recorded, the vast majority in mainland China. To help resolve the crisis, Chinese public safety officials are also testing new technologies, including DJI drones.
Together with agricultural research centres, DJI is developing ways to combat this disease. The company donated nearly $ 1.5 million to contain the outbreak, and also adapted the Agras series of agricultural drones to spray disinfectants in potentially contaminated areas. Drones can cover much more space than traditional methods while relieving workers of the risk of exposure to the virus and disinfectant.
After a series of studies and trials, the teams developed the best methods for atomizing chlorine or ethyl alcohol. The concentration of the solution and the rules of flight can be changed depending on the circumstances: for example, it is known or not that the area is infected.
DJI already sprayed more than 3 million square meters of disinfectant in Shenzhen by February 12th. The company also helps 1,000 counties in China master the spraying method. Target areas include plants, residential areas, hospitals, and wastewater treatment plants. In total, they cover 600 million square meters across the country. The efficiency of such a spray can be 50 times higher than traditional methods.
Over the past few weeks, new methods have been introduced to control the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in China. Loudspeakers were installed on the drones to help disperse the gatherings in crowded places. Drones carried placards with precautionary measures. Drone heat chambers have also been used to monitor body temperature so that medical personnel can identify potential new cases.
Droning is another popular destination. The outbreak led millions of families to stay at home to avoid unwanted contact. Great help to these households can be provided in the form of delivery without the participation of couriers. Organizations can send food, supplies, and medicine to everyone in need.
The battle with the new coronavirus has just begun. Cases of infection continue to grow in China and beyond. But recent reports show that the wave is waning. Researchers learn more about the virus every day. Vaccines are developed in laboratories around the world. And society is doing its part by taking all possible precautions.
DJI promises to continue to improve drones for emergency services. The company hopes that the experience gained during this crisis will help to better use drones, sensors and other advanced solutions during future medical and humanitarian operations.
DJI is also involved in the fight against a much more dangerous disease than coronavirus – this is malaria. A mosquito bite can lead to a number of diseases, from which about 700 thousand people die every year. The most dangerous pathogen is malaria. This disease alone killed half the people who have ever lived on earth: their number is estimated at 52 billion. Of the 228 million reported cases of malaria in 2018, 93% were in Africa, and most of them were children under the age of five.
The DJI team has joined the Malaria Elimination Program in Zanzibar. Using the Agras MG-1S drone, teams tried to stop the spread of malaria in areas of stagnant sun-heated water (such as rice fields), which serves as a breeding ground for mosquitoes. MG-1S was used to spray an environmentally friendly substance that showed an exceptional effect in the destruction of mosquitoes. Unlike helicopters or airplanes, drones provide an inexpensive and reliable solution for quickly covering large areas.
The results of this experiment speak for themselves. Even 4 weeks after spraying, the number of newly appeared mosquitoes in these areas remained close to zero. This technology is changing the principles in the fight against malaria, but ultimately, the spread of it depends on governments, organizations, entrepreneurs and local communities. Reducing the incidence of malaria in these areas is vital not only for the survival of individuals, but also for the future of the African continent, as people’s health is largely a guarantee of the prosperity of the state.