Dubai has deployed specially-trained police dogs at its airport to detect the virus.
The UAE is the first in the world to use K9 police dogs. We are in direct contact with experts in UK and France to train our dogs in detecting the virus,” -Major Salah Khalifa Al Mazrouei, Director of Dubai Police Security Inspection K9 Unit.
For months, debate has been going on whether dogs can sniff the virus or not. Because it’s a proven fact that sniffer dogs can identify specific infections/diseases such as cancer, tuberculosis, malaria, diabetes, and Parkinson’s among others, it was being anticipated if they would be able to do the same for Coronavirus.
Now, Dubai airport, the UAE has chosen to believe that sniffer dogs are efficient in detecting COVID-19 in the passengers. Thereby deploying sniffer dogs to do the needful.
In 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 process is quite easy and safe and fast at the same time. 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 specially-trained sniffer dogs generally detect the virus within seconds. Thus, no direct contact happens between the passenger and the dog.
The MoI further mentioned, “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.”
Till now, the UAE has reported 61163 Coronavirus positive cases and 351 deaths.