Madeira developing sniffer dog detection.
Press agency Lusa report that the government of Madeira is developing a project using sniffer dogs to detect people infected with SARS-CoV-2 at the airport.
The president of the Region, Miguel Albuquerque, told Lusa “We are already working in cooperation with trainers and, obviously, it will be one of the areas that we are developing and could, in the first place, be installed at the airport,” he said, indicating that the project is still in the testing phase.
“These dogs are equipped with the ability to detect whether the person is a carrier of the virus or not,” he explained, saying that, if the project is successful, the regional government may suspend the obligation to submit a negative PCR test for entry into the region, in force since July 1, 2020.
Miguel Albuquerque stressed that this “new methodology”, whose legal framework will be revealed later, has “great reliability”.
“They are already using [sniffer dogs] in some countries and we want to do a test here in Madeira,” he said, adding: “We are going to do this pilot test. We are not going to generalise, but it is a pilot test that can work. It is something that we want to experiment with”.
Miguel Albuquerque said that two dogs could potentially be used in the programme.
Sniffer dogs used at Helsinki airport
The Guardian reported last year that four Covid-19 sniffer dogs had begun work at Helsinki airport in a state-funded pilot scheme that Finnish researchers hoped would provide a cheap, fast, and effective alternative method of testing people for the virus.
A sniffer dog is capable of detecting the presence of the coronavirus within 10 seconds and the entire process takes less than a minute to complete, according to Anna Hielm-Björkman of the University of Helsinki, who was overseeing the trial. “It’s very promising,” said Hielm-Björkman. “If it works, it could prove a good screening method in other places” such as hospitals, care homes, and at sporting and cultural events.
Thanks to Jaime for the link.
COVID-19 in Madeira: daily updates can be found on an earlier post.
Vaccinations in Madeira: updates can be found on an earlier post.