An Australian drone company is delivering crucial supplies to fight the coronavirus in southwestern Africa, flying the aircraft from its base in Melbourne.
By doing so, Aussie start-up Swoop Aero has become the first drone logistics company to operate aircraft from outside the country of operation.
But the achievement has been forced by the circumstances.
"As all the international air routes closed, we needed to move the team quickly to somewhere an Australian airline could service," Swoop Aero chief executive Eric Peck explained.
So they decided to move to Johannesburg in South Africa.
As the situation worsened last week, they returned home while still delivering their service to Africa's remote locations.
"The situation in the countries we are operating in is not dissimilar to that in some parts in Australia," Mr Peck said.
"Here, for instance, as soon as you are 100km out of a major city, access to health care reduces drastically."
To do so, Swoop Aero had to get approvals to operate drones that would move products over distances of almost 100km remotely.
Most companies have their pilots stationed at the takeoff or landing site, and see the aircraft.
But Swoop's internet and satellite system allows pilots to communicate with the aircraft at all times from anywhere in the world,
"The real heroes of the story are our Malawi team members who are managing the ground operations on southern Malawi," Mr Peck told AAP.
The company settled in Africa in 2018. It kicked off flying operations in DR Congo and has extended to countries like Mozambique.
The company then launched a multipurpose drone operation in Malawi with funding from UNICEF.
Drones play a crucial role in remote locations there, as it is often not possible to keep vaccines or medical supplies available all the time.
Swoop provides medical supplies for diseases such as AIDS but claims it is ready to turn to COVID-19 testing quickly in the country, and globally.
By carrying eight to 10 coronavirus testing kits into remote villages without risk of infection, Mr Peck argues they can strengthen local health supply chains.
He also said the company would be able to offer similar services in Australia within 72 hours with the necessary air approvals.
The company said it has been in talks with several healthcare organisations in Australia to create a concept for drone transport in rural Australia.
"As a result of the current pandemic, we've seen a spike in interest," Mr Peck said.
Air transport using drones, Swoop predicts, will increasingly become key to transporting medical supplies to service populations forced into isolation.