2020 was the year when COVID-19 had just set in but 2021 is the year where we prep to beat the virus. To find newer ways to cope with the disease, India has started training dogs to detect the virus.
Reportedly, Colonel Surender Saini who is an army dog trainer shared that this would mark the first time for the Indian army to use dogs to detect COVID-19.
#WATCH | Delhi: Indian Army dogs have been trained for real-time detection of COVID19. Cocker Spaniel named Casper seen participating in a live demonstration. Jaya and Mani, two dogs of indigenous breed Chippiparai, were also present. pic.twitter.com/18YdHX9Xfw— ANI (@ANI) February 9, 2021
While in conversation with ANI, he also shared that:
Based on the data from the samples which we have tested till now, we can infer the ability to detect the disease is more than 95% among sniffer dogs.
Dogs such as Cocker Spaniels and Labradors are getting trained so that they can detect it from the cells of people who have been infected at a facility in Delhi. The same report suggests that 8 dogs are in the process of getting trained.
There are three 'specialist' military dogs namely Casper, Jaya & Mani who have been trained to screen samples and detect coronavirus. They are the first ones to be trained to do so except Mani who is still in training, as per reports.
Casper, a male Cocker Spaniel is 2-years old, Jaya, a female Chippiparai is one-year-old while Mani is also an indigenous Chippiparai breed. Both Mani and Jaya are from Tamil Nadu.
As per reports, Casper & Jaya have been deployed in Chandigarh and Delhi and have been screening samples of soldiers at the forward areas of the Northern Command.
Apparently, a dog can screen around 100 samples in a span of 1 hour when given a break of 5 minutes after every 15 minutes.
Indian Army (@adgpi) dogs trained to detect COVID-19 using sweat & urine samples. Labradors & indigenous breed Chippiparai are being trained on urine samples & Cocker Spaniels on sweat samples. Detection is real-time. (Photos: Satya Routray)#ITPhotoblog pic.twitter.com/fQZjSU272S— IndiaToday (@IndiaToday) February 9, 2021
Another report suggests that dogs have screened at least 3,000 samples till now. Out of which, 18 samples show positive results for COVID-19 while being screened by them.