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Video: Saudi Arabia joins UAE in using dogs to sniff out coronavirus

Web report/Dubai
Filed on August 4, 2020 | Last updated on August 4, 2020 at 06.27 am
Saudi Customs, using, trained, police dogs, sniff out, coronavirus, like, uae, covid-19

(Saudi Customs Twitter screen grab)

There will be provisions for Covid-19 sniffer dogs at all Saudi customs entry points when international flights resume.

Saudi Customs has announced that it will use trained police dogs to detect those infected with coronavirus as part of its enhanced precautionary measures and preventive measures to stem the spread of the pandemic.

The move follows a similar police dog initiative implemented in the UAE.

As Khaleej Times reported on Thursday, specialised UAE police teams and dogs are being deployed at the country's airports to check samples taken from the armpit of those coming to the country without direct contact with the dog.

In Saudi, meanwhile, there will be provisions for Covid-19 sniffer dogs at all customs entry points when international flights resume, according to Abdullah Al Salloum, director of the National Center for Living Means at the Saudi Customs.

He said that the work is currently under way to train a number of dogs with the best sense of smell to discover and identify coronavirus infected persons and that is in cooperation with the National Center for Disease Prevention and Control.

"The centre is currently working on completing all the requirements that ensure the readiness of the dogs' team," the Saudi Gazette quoted him as saying and adding that results of the training showed an above 80 per cent success rate in the detection of infected cases.

Al Salloum said that deploying trained dogs is one of the initiatives launched by the National Center for Living Means to help combat the pandemic.

In this regard, the Saudi Customs posted a video on its Twitter account and YouTube platform, explaining the mechanism of detecting coronavirus with the use of trained dogs.

The video highlights the great ability of such dogs, including their ability to sniff even the smell below 40 feet under the ground, as they have more than 125 million senses of smell.

"The centre undertakes the task of training dogs in many programs, mainly for combating terrorism. The programs cover detection of smuggled goods, including drugs, explosives, weapons, currency and tobacco," Al Salloum said in the video.

Chilean police are following the UAE and Saudi's example in training sniffer dogs to detect the coronavirus in people's sweat at an early stage, after a similar trial in the UK showed encouraging results.

Four dogs have been selected for the initial training, a mix of labradors and golden retrievers who sport green "biodetector" jackets for their task. They are being trained at the Chilean Carabineros´ specialist training base in the capital Santiago.


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