The coronavirus pandemic has left many countries searching for solutions to win the battle and in Africa countries are turning to technology.
Morocco has just launched fleets of drones deployed to undertake aerial surveillance, public service announcements and sanitisation on coronavirus.
Authorities have employed these drones to issue warnings, identify suspicious movement in the streets and disperse illegal rooftop and balcony gatherings.
Police have arrested 85 000 people for breaching lockdown measures between 15 March and 30 April, bringing 50, 000 prosecutions.
Morocco has recorded 5,053 Covid-19 cases with 179 deaths and 1,653 recoveries as at May 5, 2020.
The specific number of drones deployed are not clear but the use of the drones have been in place for weeks now.
Huge demand for drones
Local tech companies are also being drafted in by regional local governments to use their services in relation to the drones.
Yassine Qamous, chief of Droneway Maroc, African distributor for leading Chinese drone company DJI is quoted by the AFP as saying that “This is a real craze. In just weeks, demand has tripled in Morocco and other countries in the region (referring to Africa).”
Unlike other countries in Africa Qamous says Morocco “is among the most advanced countries in Africa” for unmanned flight.
It also has a dedicated industrial base, researchers and qualified pilots for the sector.
Abderrahmane Krioual, the head of Farasha, a startup that has raised funds to produce drones for thermal surveillance and aerial disinfectant spraying also told AFP that “There is real demand” for drones now.
The challenge in Morocco has been the limitations on civilian drones, restricted to filming, agriculture, monitoring solar panels and mapping services.
Rwanda last month also deployed drones to various communities to raise awareness about COVID-19.
The drones were mounted on loud-speakers and flown across villages to broadcast messages specially designed on the coronavirus pandemic.
Ghana has deployed drones to deliver coronavirus test samples to health facilities across the country.