Indian breed dogs Chippiparai and cocker spaniels are trained to sniff out coronavirus by detecting metabolic biomarkers in personal sweat and urine samples within seconds.
The dog brother and sister duo of Mani and Jaya, along with Casper, are among India’s first seven military canines to be trained in Covid-19 detection. Since September last year, they have been planning for the mission.
Several countries are considering using dogs to identify the coronavirus at airports and other public spaces. But the military deployment is the first time in India that dogs are being used to detect COVID-19, said Colonel Surender Saini, an army dog trainer.
At least eight dogs were being trained to be deployed to a transit camp in north India, from where troops move to high-security border areas. Dogs would allow quicker detection of the disease and reduce the need for tests in remote locations.
A military dog sniffs a urine sample during a demonstration to detect the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at an army veterinary hospital in New Delhi, India, on February 9, 2021.
This is the first time in India that canine olfactory capabilities have been used to detect tissues contaminated with pathogens that release unpredictable metabolic biomarkers. In the photo, an army soldier wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) sits next to a military dog after a dog demonstration on how to detect coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in an army veterinary hospital in New Delhi, India.