Ghana to use drones to allow faster coronavirus testing

Ghana is using delivery drones from US-based startup Zipline to enable it to test people more quickly outside major cities for the novel coronavirus, it was announced on Monday.

Ghana has 834 confirmed infections and nine people have died from Covid-19.

Keller Rinaudo, Zipline Chief Executive said: “Using contactless drone delivery to transport Covid-19 test samples will allow the government to respond to the pandemic and help save lives more quickly.”

The company operated its first coronavirus test flight at the beginning of April and will now fly samples collected from more than 1 000 health facilities in rural areas to laboratories in the capital Accra and to Kumasi, the second-largest city.

Ghana Health Service said it has tested 57 000 coronavirus samples so far.

Zipline said using drones would cut the delivery time for test samples from hours to under an hour in some cases.

It said it expects to operate the service daily "for the duration of the government's Covid-19 response efforts."