Hundreds of drones light up Seoul night sky with coronavirus advice

by Reuters
Wednesday, 8 July 2020 05:39 GMT

Drones fly over the Han river showing messages to support the country, as measures to avoid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continue, in Seoul, South Korea, July 4, 2020. Yonhap via REUTERS

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Drones display coronavirus prevention advice in the South Korean capital, featuring images of hand-washing and social distancing

By Minwoo Park

SEOUL, July 8 (Reuters) - Three hundred drones took to the evening sky over the Han River in South Korea to dispense coronavirus prevention advice through a synchronised light display featuring images of hand-washing and social distancing.

A horde of pin-point lights lifted into the air in military-like formation on Saturday before rearranging themselves to form the image of a white face mask, with red circles symbolising the new virus which has led to almost 300 deaths in the country.

The 10-minute display, organised by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, also showed images of medical workers in protective suits and messages of support including "#ThanksToChallenge" written above a hand cradling a another flashing a thumbs-up, in reference to a social media campaign encouraging people to express their gratitude to health staff.

The 900-gram drones employed real-time kinematic (RTK) satellite positioning with additional antennae to increase accuracy, said the Korea Institute of Aviation Safety Technology, which led the project.

South Korea was praised for quickly containing its initial outbreak of the novel coronavirus but has recently experienced sporadic cases, such as from small gatherings at religious facilities and door-to-door sales practices outside Seoul.

Asia's fourth-largest economy reported 63 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, 33 of which were imported. (Reporting by Minwoo Park; Editing by Christopher Cushing)