Spain has become the first European nation to use drones from Chinese tech giant DJI to tackle the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with its military deploying the firm's agricultural drones to disinfect large public spaces regions, it was revealed.
Spanish Military Emergencies Unit (UME) have been battling the outbreak with drones from Stock RC, DJI's Spanish agent, the company reported on social media o Tuesday as quoted by the South China Morning Post.
“Spain has become the first European country to use agricultural drones for containing [pandemics],” DJI said in the post.
— DJI Enterprise (@DJIEnterprise) April 1, 2020
The news come as cases in Spain jumped to over 22,500 cases and over 9,000 deaths on Wednesday, according to figures.
— CNN (@CNN) March 31, 2020
Spanish and Chinese authorities launched respective drone programmes to disinfect regions, check temperatures and disperse public gatherings amid the crisis while reducing risk to emergency personnel, with Chile, the United Arab Emirates, Philippines, Indonesia, and Colombia also launching DJI drones to tackle the virus, SCMP reported.
A similar deal was struck with Austria's Rosenbauer International AG, the world's largest supplier of firefighting vehicles and equipment, allowing first responders to tackle numerous emergency situations "quicker, more safely and more efficiently", a press statement in March read.
Company chief executive, Dieter Siegel, said: "Speed and a truly complete overall picture are key criteria for success when emergency service teams have to make purposeful decisions under time pressure.
Mr Siegel concluded: "This cooperation with DJI enables us to consolidate our role as a digital pioneer while we work together to develop an integrated technology for comprehensive, data-based firefighting and disaster management.
DJI Boosts US Efforts Against Coronavirus Despite Trump Administration Accusations, US Trade War On China
The Chinese tech giant, which currently owns 75 percent of the global market in drones for personal, commercial and special use, was accused by the Trump Administration of posing a national security risk, stating that the Chinese drones could potentially spy for the Chinese government, which DJI and Beijing have repeatedly and sharply denied.
The company said in a statement that its products had been "designed specifically" for US government agencies, including the Department of Interior and Department of Homeland Security, proving that the Trump administration's decision "has nothing to do with security".
DJI said in January: "We are opposed to the politically-motivated country of origin restrictions masquerading as cybersecurity concerns and call for policymakers and industry stakeholders to create clear standards that will give commercial and government drone operators the assurance they need to confidently evaluate drone technology on the merits of performance, security and reliability, no matter where it is made.
Despite accusations from the Trump Administration, DJI issued 100 drones to 40 police, fire and public safety organisations across 21 US states as part of its commitment to the Chinese firm's Disaster Relief Programme on Wednesday.
A company blog post wrote: "This is the largest single deployment of drones to fight COVID-19 that we know of – and we look forward to seeing what our brave first responders do with them.