Source: Terra Drone

A subsidiary of Japanese drone provider Terra Drone is helping keep communities safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Kazakhstan.

The Nur-Sultan Police Department hired KazUAV to patrol the capital city to ensure residents obey lockdown orders. On March 16, Kazakh officials imposed a quarantine on Nur-Sultan, and the Central Asian nation’s largest city, Almaty, after the number of people infected with COVID-19 more than doubled overnight.

Law-enforcement have been maintaining roadblocks across the two cities. KazUAV deployed drones to collect of information and coordinate quarantine efforts across the affected region.

Drone-mounted cameras with visual and infrared sensors broadcast the captured data, as well as the exact locations of objects of interest, to a command center.

“This has led to the authorities discovering multiple bypass roads and irregularities in the locked-down area – without which, the quarantine measures could not have proven effective,” a Terra Drone press release notes.

“As international experience has shown, restrictions introduced to prevent the spread of the coronavirus are the most effective measures to fight it,” KazUAV development director Dmitry Ivanov said.

“Of course, it’s hard for everyone now; it is a challenging time for each one of us. But the call to ‘stay home’ is more relevant than ever in the context of drones. We are familiar with carrying out critical tasks like monitoring floods or patrolling important events, but this was an emergency request which needed an immediate response.”

The mission is the second major operation for Terra Drone via KazUAV. The World Bank recently commissioned the firm to conduct drone inspections at older school buildings across the  Kyrgyz Republic city of Bishek. So far, drones have mapped 12 schools in the nation’s capital and largest city.

Other public-safety agencies across the world continue to find ways to use drone tech to curtail the spread of COVID-19. Spanish police used drones as aerial megaphones to urge people to stay home during the pandemic. British police have also launched drone patrols to enforce lockdown orders, leading some privacy experts to question the reach of the program.



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