La Primavera, Colombia:
"This is HK4679 G on a humanitarian flight between La Primavera and Cumaribo that transports 3,500-foot COVID-19 tests," radioed Ernesto Perez to a nearby military base as he piloted his twin-engine aircraft over Colombia's far eastern plains.
Perez, who works in financial technology, asked for permission to take a detour to avoid storm clouds and led the disinfected plane to one of the most remote cities in the Andean country.
He is among the approximately 100 private plane owners who answered a call from President Ivan Duque to transport doctors and medical supplies to the most distant areas of Colombia.
Without the planes, it would be impossible to take corona virus tests from rural areas to urban laboratories before the samples are damaged. Duque called the pilots "silent heroes".
"It was a call from the President to connect the most remote areas of the country so we could pick up the samples that were being tested in Bogota," said Perez on the La Primavera airstrip before heading to his next stop. "It's impossible on the road in the rainy season."
The private planes have carried thousands of samples and dozens of doctors on more than 200 flights since a state of emergency was declared in March, including the transfer of medical personnel to the Arauca province on the Venezuela border.
In La Primavera, Vichada province, two hospital officials and 34 coronavirus samples were waiting for the plane.
The city has no confirmed cases of coronavirus, but officials do random tests.
"(The planes) are an excellent service because of the difficult access," said hospital bacteriologist Diana Carolina Galvan.
The plane also collected 47 samples from the city of Cumaribo.
Colombia has more than 39,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and almost 1,300 deaths.
Perez said he was worried about an infection but would keep flying because he wanted to help.
"It is an absolute satisfaction."
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)