Dubai becomes the first airport to deploy sniffer dogs to sniff and detect coronavirus

As air travel opens up even as the wait for vaccine continues amid rising number of COVID-19 cases, Dubai International Airport, in a first worldwide, has deployed trained sniffer dogs to sniff and detect coronavirus infected cases. Dubai has started using police dogs for on-airport rapid COVID-19 testing, which reportedly can produce test results in minutes with 92 percent accuracy.

Issuing a statement, Dubai’s Ministry of Interior (MoI) said, “Data and studies showed that detection of presumed Covid-19 cases achieved approximately 92 percent in overall accuracy. Figures indicate that dogs can quickly detect infected cases, help protect key sites, effectively deal with huge crowds and secure large events, airports, etc.”

The Dubai Health Authority (DHA), along with the teams of dogs and trainers deployed at the airports, screens every possibly-infected passenger. A scent sample is collected of the passenger from the armpit, which is presented to the canine in an isolated room. The  sniffer dogs generally detect the virus within seconds. Thus, no direct contact happens between the passenger and the dog.

MoI further said, “Trained detection dogs are known for their extraordinary capabilities and skills that outdo other dogs, especially their strong sense of smell. For this reason, they can be used in police patrols and securing malls, events, airports and other vital facilities.”

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