The dogs were trained to sniff out cases after they were made to smell test samples.
Sniffer dogs could soon be used to detect Covid-19 cases among travellers at the Sharjah International Airport. The police have trialled the initiative by deploying some K9 dogs at the airports with “great success”, according to a top officer.
Lieutenant-Colonel Dr Ahmed Adel Al Maamari, Head of the K9 Security Inspection Department, Sharjah Police, said the dogs were trained to sniff out cases after they were made to smell test samples in a “special room designated for this purpose”.
The officer said K9 dogs are currently used to secure sea, air and land ports. The unit has 80 dogs and 32 trainers. “The dogs can swiftly locate drugs as their sense of smell is 50 times sharper than that of humans. They can help in locating missing people, drugs, fugitives, explosives, stolen items, and also search for bodies in cases of disasters.”
Sharjah’s announcement comes two months after the UAE said sniffer dogs were being used across its airports as an additional way of detecting presumed Covid-19 cases. State news agency Wam had reported in July that the UAE is “considered the first country in the world” to put this method into action. It is being researched in other countries, the report added.
How it works
On July 9, the country’s Ministry of Interior had announced that it had completed trials on K9 dogs that may be employed to help curb the spread of Covid-19.
Samples from the armpits of presumed Covid-19 cases were used in the experiments and the dogs were made to sniff out cases. The results were quick and declared on the spot. Data and studies from the trials showed an overall accuracy of approximately 92 per cent in detection.
The ministry decided to use dogs given their proven capability in dealing with other contagious diseases such as tuberculosis and malaria.
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