In an effort to enhance its preventive and precautionary measures for curbing the spread of COVID-19, the Ministry of Interior, MoI, carried out trials on K9 dogs. After the successful completion of practical experiments and scientific studies, this move is expected to contribute to promoting community safety and security. These studies also highlight the state's continued and proactive effort as it had been UAE’s policy to adopt the best practices in all fields.
These experiments include various sites in coordination with UAE police general commanders, the Ministry of Health and Community Development, Federal Customs Authority, Department of Customs in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and Health Authorities both in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and The Ministry of Interior.
The procedures of the conducted trials include the detection of presumed cases through high-speed sampling from the armpits of suspected cases. After taking proper precautionary measures to ensure the safety of both the K9 police dogs and the trainers, the dogs are then subjected to two experimental methods.
First is the indirect method, where the dogs undergo routine detection work. In the second method, the dogs were made to sniff out sample odour from presumed cases.
"K9 police dogs are also used traditionally in securing and monitoring events and sensitive facilities," MoI said in a statement. "It is recorded that the UAE has completed the stage of field experimentation with precedence over a number of countries that are still in advanced stages of studying the extent of the applicability of this innovative scientific practice," he added.
Based on these experiments, the Ministry of Interior determined that detection of presumed COVID-19 cases achieved an approximate overall accuracy of 92 percent. "Figures indicate that dogs can quickly detect infected cases, help protect key sites, effectively deal with big crowds and secure large events, airports, etc.," the Ministry noted.
K9 police dogs had proven its capability in dealing with other contagious diseases such as tuberculosis and malaria, further helping authorities in stopping the possible spread of diseases.
"Trained detection dogs are known for their extraordinary capabilities and skills that outdo other dogs, especially their strong sense of smell. For this reason, they can be used in police patrols and securing malls, events, airports and other vital facilities," the Ministry stated in one of the brainstorming workshops with several countries and world experts on theoretical studies and discussions on using dogs in detecting presumed coronavirus cases.