Dubai Airport is the first airport to make use of Covid-19 sniffing dogs to check arriving passengers.
Before entering the United Arab Emirates (UAE), all passengers – including citizens, residents, tourists, and transit passengers – are required to get tested for the coronavirus and obtain a negative covid-19 certificate. Negative Covid-19 certificates will be valid for up to 96 hours from the time of the test.
Now, in order to improve the airports’ safety, the UAE started to dispatch K9 police dogs in all the country’s airports. To supervise the K9 procedures, airports can rely on specialized teams of police officers who have been sent across the country.
The new on-airport covid-19 testing system appears to work well. The animals are able to detect the possibility of infection in just a few seconds. The results are ready in a few minutes and they are accurate in 92% of cases.
Sniffing dogs are able to detect other diseases that affect the body scent, such as malaria and cancer. The ability of police dogs to sniff out also traces of the coronavirus was confirmed by recent reports; however, the reports proved that the new concept could work only in test environments. Now that the UAE has introduced sniffing dogs in all its national airports, we know that the idea works concretely even in the real-world.
Major Salah Al Mazrooei from Dubai Police explained that a special area of Dubai International Airport was dedicated to coronavirus testing using K9 police dogs. “Samples are taken in collaboration with partners from Dubai Health Authority and the results are out in less than a minute,” he said.
A video published by Emirates News Agency WAM shows the coronavirus sniffing dogs at Dubai Airport trying to detect traces of infections from passengers’ swabs. In the video there is a K9 police dog in an isolated environment, trying to detect the virus from a range of samples, and sitting to indicate a possible infection.
Passengers that had to undergo the testing were quite surprised. “The test was very fast and absolutely easy to do. I was surprised that it was available upon arrival,” declared a traveler.
There is no direct contact between police dogs and travelers; thus, passengers who are afraid of dogs do not have to worry.
Covid-19 sniffing dogs are just an additional precaution against the coronavirus. However, all travelers arriving or leaving the UAE must still abide by current regulations, including PCR-testing on arrival and mandatory negative Covid-19 test certificates.