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NCOC decides deployment dogs trained to sniff out covid-19 at Islamabad Int’l Airport

Islamabad: The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Wednesday approved deployment of teams along with dogs trained to sniff out covid-19 at International Airport Islamabad.

The NCOC has also directed the concerned authorities to take special measures for the deployment of trained dogs.

Initially teams along with dogs trained to sniff out covid-19 are being deployed at International Airport Islamabad.  In this regard, special measures have been directed.

It is to mention here that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities are also availing services of dogs trained to sniff out covid-19 at its Dubai airport. According to International Media, the Ministry of Interior is given responsibility to ensure deployment of trained dogs at Dubai airport.

The officials from Dubai Health Authority take sweat samples from passengers. The sample is then placed in a pot with a funnel-like opening to be studied by the dogs at a safe distance. There is no direct contact between the dogs and the sample or passenger. If the dog detects a positive result, the passenger is then taken for a nasal swab test.

Meanwhile, experiments have been carried out across Europe in recent months to see if Odour detection dogs can identify covid-19. The charity Medical Detection Dogs is working with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to see whether their dogs [who are trained to detect malaria, cancer, parkinson’s and bacterial infections through the sense of smell] can be re-trained to provide a rapid diagnosis of this deadly virus.

Can specially trained sniffer dogs detect covid-19 ?

While in Germany researchers last month from the University of Veterinary Medicine Hanover trained army sniffer dogs to distinguish between samples of fluids taken from healthy patients and those infected with covid-19.

The specially trained sniffer dogs had an accurate detection rate of 94 percent, with 157 correct positive identifications, 792 correct reflections of non-infected samples and 33 incorrect results.

The research findings were published in the BMC Infectious Diseases journal with the team concluding that “in countries with limited access to diagnostic tests, detection dogs could then have the potential to be used for mass detection of infected people. Further work is necessary to better understand the potential and limitation of using scent dogs for the detection of viral respiratory diseases.”

As per a French-Lebanese research team, the animals can detect covid-19 in almost cent percent of cases after smelling human sweat. Now they are training twenty dogs belonging to Lebanon’s security forces to screen arrivals at Beirut airport. If the trial is successful, the researchers hope it could be rolled out at airports around the world.

If the trial is successful, the researchers hope it could be rolled out at airports around the world.

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