Drones to be used to deliver vital medicines as coronavirus lockdown continues

24 April 2020, 17:36 | Updated: 24 April 2020, 18:05

Drones are going to be trialled as a way of delivering vital medical supplies to people during lockdown
Drones are going to be trialled as a way of delivering vital medical supplies to people during lockdown. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

Drones are going to be trialled to deliver vital medicines and health equipment, the government has announced.

The latest measure was already in development as a form of delivery service for future generations, but coronavirus has accelerated the plans.

The multi-million pound scheme had been started at the beginning of the year, but has now been accelerated to become part of the government's response to Covid-19.

From tomorrow, St Mary's Hospital on the Isle of Wight will receive deliveries from the unmanned aircraft.

Speaking at the daily Downing Street press conference, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "I've given the green light to trials of drones to deliver medical supplies. Earlier this year, we awarded £28 million to Southampton and Portsmouth to deliver a future transport zone.

For all the latest news on coronavirus, follow our live bog

Transport secretary Grant Shapps made the announcement
Transport secretary Grant Shapps made the announcement. Picture: PA

"As part of that initiative £8 million was earmarked for testing drones and how they might be used to deliver goods in the years and decades ahead.

"Of course, now we have an urgent need. So we're making use of that testing programme as part of our response to Covid-19.

"As a result I've now fast tracked trials this week to carry medical supplies and equipment to St Mary's Hospital near Newport on the Isle of Wight."

Listen & subscribe: Global Player | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify

Happening Now