Saudi Customs to deploy trained dogs to sniff out coronavirus cases

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Saudi Gazette report

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

There will be facilities for COVID-19 sniffer dogs at all customs entry points at the time of resumption of international flights, according to Abdullah Al-Salloum, director of the National Center for Living Means at the Saudi Customs.

He said that the work is currently underway 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 center is currently working on completing all the requirements that ensure the readiness of the dogs’ team,” he said noting that results of the training showed an above 80 percent success rate in the detection of infected cases.

Al-Salloum said that taking advantage of trained dogs in this aspect is part of the program to combat coronavirus, which is one of the programs offered 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 these breed of dogs, including its ability to sniff even the smell below 40 feet under the ground, as they more than 125 million senses of smell.

It is noteworthy that the National Center for Living Means at the Saudi Customs was established as the National Training Center in the year 1987. “The center 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.


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