The ‘sniffing’ is conducted without contact between the dogs and their subject…

Earlier this week we reported on the news that Abu Dhabi had rolled out the safety and administrational framework for a return to live indoor and outdoor events.

It’s truly a landmark chapter in the saga of this pandemic. But a typically measured one. There’s always been an insistence on making sure nothing is rushed and these methodical loosenings on restrictions in the UAE are accompanied by the latest and most efficient methods for protecting public health.

Woof there it is

One particular way of screening those potentially infected with the virus ticks the boxes for mobile applicability (as in moving around, not the phone), high accuracy and elite level ‘fetch’ skills.

A statement issued by the Ministry of the Interior on Wednesday reads “as part of its efforts to support front line healthcare staff, the Ministry of Interior has recently introduced a mobile unit of K9 trained police dogs to detect presumed Covid-19 cases. Detection of potential cases is done without direct contact between dogs and individuals.”


WAM, the Emirates News Agency went further saying that these units will be “present in targeted areas and venues of major events”.

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How does it work?

WAM also explained that the K9 sniffer dogs are trained on the Covid scent by being exposed to human samples (of infected sweat) inside mobile vehicles.

It’s important to note that there is no direct contact between the dogs and these samples, and no evidence that transmission to the animals is possible.

Just another example of man’s best friend, putting in a shift purely for the love of humanity.

Ruff statistics

If you’re wondering just how good these *ruffles fur* good dogs are at sniffing out those infected with Coronavirus, the answer is — actually pretty good. Close to 100 per cent in fact.

The Khaleej Times reported on a study conducted in the UAE last year that “showed a high accuracy rate of trained dogs in Covid-19 detection. From a sample of 1,000 participants at Covid-19 screening centres, the study showed a 98 per cent correlation between the PCR test results and the detections by the dogs.”

Images: WAM