Saudi customs train dogs to sniff out infected air travellers

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Saudi Customs officials are identifying air travellers harbouring the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) — by using specially trained sniffer dogs.

The canine virus detectors are being drafted in at airports throughout the Kingdom to help pick up the scent of infected passengers.

Following the resumption of international flights, customs staff in Saudi Arabia are to use the animals as part of their efforts to stop the spread of the deadly virus.

The customs authority, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has been training Jack Russell terriers and other breeds to recognize the odor of COVID-19.

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“The training has been 80 percent successful,” said Mohammed Al-Salloum, director of the National Center for Living Means at Saudi Customs, adding that final preparations were being put in place for the dog teams to start work in airport terminals throughout the country.

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