At present, 170 countries are affected by the pandemic, COVID-19. The rate of infection continues to rise fivefold on a daily basis across the world, and the data continues to highlight the transnational force of contagion. To date, there is no unifying or effective method to treat the disease or its spread, which would need the capacity to reach and save an estimated 5.3 billion people who are expected to contract the illness in the coming months.
The COVID- 19 pandemic we face currently is an important reminder of the power of infectious diseases.
But, in the midst of all this doom and gloom, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted some important lessons for the global health sector. It offers a critical insight into how innovation and advanced technology may better equip and support us as we tackle this global pandemic and handle public health emergencies to contain, mitigate and eradicate the spread of infectious diseases globally.
Yesterday, Swoop Aero took a leading role in global health transformation. We became the first drone logistics company globally to operate a fleet of aircraft from outside the country of operation. We have deployed this capability in order to support the Malawian national government’s health system as they commence their response to the pandemic. With the backing of the College of Medicine and the Malawian Department of Civil Aviation, our ground operations teams, staffed by local Malawians that have been trained over the last few months, made this possible. There were no members of the Australian flight operations team present, as they have all returned to Australia to comply with the government’s strict travel restrictions. The goal of this remotely piloted operation is to support the government’s COVID-19 response following reports of an acceleration of reported cases across the country. It means that our local Malawian ground operations teams are not losing their jobs at a difficult time for the economy. In addition, at a time when normality has been suspended for most, this means that we can continue routine flight operations in our network, delivering essential healthcare supplies for pre-existing communicable diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB.