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Another Airport Deploys COVID-Sniffing Dogs

TravelPulse logo TravelPulse 9/23/2020 Rich Thomaselli
a dog looking at the camera: Airport police sniffer dog, Labrador retriever. © iStock/Getty Images Plus/HowardOates Airport police sniffer dog, Labrador retriever.

Helsinki Airport in Vantaa, Finland has become the world’s second major airport to utilize dogs to help detect passengers infected with the coronavirus.

The airport is using a trial run of the program after a study published by the University of Helsinki's Veterinary Faculty suggested trained dogs can detect COVID-19 with close to 100 percent certainty, according to Sky News.

The airport will have 10 dogs trained by Wise Nose, a smell detection agency, with four deployed to work per shift. Finnish airport operator Finavia said in a statement.

Video: Airlines want COVID tests that give quick results (Reuters)

"We are among the pioneers. As far as we know no other airport has attempted to use canine scent detection on such a large scale against COVID-19. This might be an additional step forward on the way to beating COVID-19.”

Actually, Dubai International Airport in the United Arab Emirates introduced a similar program last month.

Sky News noted that there is no direct interaction between passengers and the dogs. Travelers will swab their skin with a wipe and put the wipe in a cup. The dog will then sniff the cup, and if one of the canines believes it has detected the scent of the virus, a passenger will be given a regular medical test for the coronavirus to confirm if the dogs are correct.

Anyone who tests positive will be sent to a separate area of the airport.


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