The Spanish government has just “authorized” the military to prepare planes for aerial spraying of disinfectants across major metro areas as confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to rise, reported La Razón News.
The order was first published in the Boletín Oficial del Estado, the country’s official gazette, on Friday, that “authorizes the NBQ (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical) units of the Armed Forces and the UME to use biocides authorized by the Ministry of Health in disinfection efforts to deal with the health crisis caused by the coronavirus.”
According to the order, “the most effective disinfection techniques are the use of aerial means because through them, with nebulization, thermonebulization and micronebulization techniques, all surfaces are reached quickly, avoiding reliance on manual application, which it is slower, and sometimes it does not reach all surfaces because there are obstacles that prevent reaching them.”
The order continues to say “aerial disinfection” missions will be conducted “regularly” as long as the pandemic continues to ravage the country.
On Friday, Spain reported 5,252 new infections, the most significant jump in cases in more than a week, pushing up total cases to 184,948, with 19,478 deaths. The surge in cases could suggest that curve flattening via strict social distancing measures are not working, hence why the government has called up the military to conduct aerial disinfectant spraying missions.
La Razón News said the 43rd Air Force Group would operate Canadair CL-415 aerial firefighting planes that will most likely be outfitted with special sprayers to create an even stream of disinfectants while blanketing a metro area.
Each CL-415 has a range of 1,518 miles with a 1,620-gallon tank that can be mixed with chemicals. The plane is amphibious and can refill on a body of water.
Spain has deployed unmanned aerial systems and ground-based robots to spray disinfectants on the street level. Still, the move by the government to blanket entire towns with disinfectants via airplanes suggests that current efforts are failing to suppress the virus.