Helsinki Airport in Vantaa, Finland has become the world’s second major airport to use dogs to help detect passengers infected with the coronavirus.
The airport is using a trial run of the programme after a study published by the University of Helsinki's Veterinary Faculty suggested trained dogs can detect Covid-19 with close to 100% 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: "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 programme last month.
Sky News noted that there is no direct interaction between passengers and the dogs. Travellers 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.
This article was first published in TravelPulse.