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U.K. to Use Drones to Deliver Covid-19 Tests to Scottish Islands

Bloomberg logo Bloomberg 7/9/2020 Alex Morales
A pathologist holds a nasal swab from a COVID-19 test kit at the Core Lab in Northwell Health's Center for Advanced Medicine in Lake Success, New York, U.S., on Wednesday, March 4, 2020. On Monday, Northwell Health Labs announced it expects to begin testing for the coronavirus within a week, now that the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has given the green light for outside labs to conduct the COVID-19 tests once appropriately validated. © Bloomberg A pathologist holds a nasal swab from a COVID-19 test kit at the Core Lab in Northwell Health's Center for Advanced Medicine in Lake Success, New York, U.S., on Wednesday, March 4, 2020. On Monday, Northwell Health Labs announced it expects to begin testing for the coronavirus within a week, now that the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has given the green light for outside labs to conduct the COVID-19 tests once appropriately validated.

(Bloomberg) -- The U.K. will use drones to deliver coronavirus testing kits to remote parts of Scotland, including islands off its west coast.

Drone delivery company Skyports Ltd., based in London, is working with the National Health Service to deliver the tests and other medical supplies from a hospital on the Argyll and Bute mainland, the U.K. Space Agency said on Friday in a statement.

It’s one of three projects to benefit from 1.1 million pounds ($1.4 million) of agency funding under a joint program with the European Space agency to fund healthcare initiatives that make use of space technology.

The sector “is stepping up to provide innovative solutions to directly support our amazing NHS, as we continue our national effort tackling coronavirus,” Science Minister Amanda Solloway said in a statement.

Other plans to be announced on Friday are a mobile phone app, developed by Bristol-based Landmrk Ltd., to help charities support the mental health of young people, and another by Stevenson Astrosat, based near Edinburgh, to assist vulnerable people suffering from poverty or loneliness. A further 1.5 million pounds remains available for projects under the program.

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