COVID-19: Drones, mist cannons, creativity, speed up disinfection work in Tamil Nadu

Updated: Apr 11, 2020, 12:35 IST | PTI | Chennai

Greater Chennai Corporation officials use drones in densely populated neighbourhoods like Thiru-Vi-Ka Nagar as children watch the drive with curiosity from their balconies

This picture has been used for representation purpose
This picture has been used for representation purpose

Authorities in Tamil Nadu, as part of efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus use drones, mist cannons and have come up with innovative ideas like using catchy taglines to spur people to walk through the disinfectant tunnels when they visit market places. In the State capital, which has 172 coronavirus positive cases, the highest when compared with other districts in Tamil Nadu, Greater Chennai Corporation officials use drones in densely populated neighbourhoods like Thiru-Vi-Ka
Nagar as children watch the drive with curiosity from their balconies.

"We are using drones in densely populated areas and the results are good," an official said adding about six litres of disinfectant liquid was being used for a single trip. The children are attracted to the buzz of drones which they call a mini-helicopter. Mist cannons which are huge blowers are mounted on trucks that go around spraying disinfectant fumes in downtown areas and in other containment zones in addition to localities of positive patients.

Butterfly sprinklers -swings up and down like a butterfly's wings when dispensing the disinfectant fog- placed on the rear of tractors are also being used by the civic body for clean up work. Anti-bacterial fluid containers connected to jet spray guns are taken in light cargo vehicles to easily navigate narrow alleys in city neighbourhoods. Germicide and bleaching powder was being sprinkled on all roads, alleys and intersections. Volunteers wearing artistically designed 'coronavirus' crowns are also helping authorities in several areas to drive home the message of social distancing, personal hygiene and the need to stay indoors.

Officials came up with a fresh idea to goad people to use the disinfectant tunnels set up in six locations in Tiruvannamalai district. "Come inside (the tunnel), are you coming in or shall I (coronavirus) come (infect you) ?" the tagline in Tamil, embossed on the tunnel's facade asks. In Tamil, the slogan is more punchy as it has striking colloquial words used everyday to convey the message ('Ulley vaaaa.. nee varriyaa..illa naan varatta !').

The sprawling Aarani Fort and Isanya grounds in Tiruvannamalai district that house the temporary vegetablemarkets are among the places where the disinfectant tunnels have been set up. People visiting the markets cannot miss the tunnels as they are placed prominently and public walk through the passage fitted with sprayers and sprinklers after and before their purchase.

Cheyyaru and Vandavasi bus termini in the district also have the disinfectant walkthrough arrangement. Tamil Nadu has a total of 911 coronavirus cases and Tiruvannamalai district 10 as on April 10 evening.

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