A total of six Labrador retrievers have successfully been trained to sniff out the coronavirus in a mere two seconds. This forms part of a six-month pilot project to identify COVID-19 as quickly as possible.
Initially reported by Channel NewsAsia, researchers from Chulalongkorn University in Thailand found that individuals with COVID-19 had a specific scent that sniffer dogs could pick up. Their team is led by Professor Kaywalee Chatdarong.
“The dogs are different from the usual temperature-screening methods in that they can detect those who may have the virus but are asymptomatic, with no fever,” Chatdarong told CNA on Wednesday, March 17. “The dogs will be able to detect these people. Their accuracy rate of detecting patients is 94.8%.”
She added that the team plans to send the sniffer dogs to places such as airports where there are large groups of people. While the dogs do not sniff people directly, they are able to screen samples of sweat.
Thailand started its COVID-19 vaccination process on Tuesday, March 16.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha received the first AstraZeneca jab on Tuesday, and frontline workers are among the first in the country’s rollout efforts.
Prayuth, along with his cabinet, were vaccinated from 117 300 AstraZeneca jabs, which were imported to Thailand for emergency use.
The country is slated to receive a further 800 000 CoronaVac vaccination doses from China within March.