As strange as it may sound, sniffer dogs may have found a new niche in the fight against Covid-19 infection, and are being tried out in the role at Dubai's International Airport. Reports say the dogs have a 92% accuracy rate.
Arriving passengers are asked to provide a body odor sample, apparently from armpits; the sample is taken to another room where the dogs sniff it through a funnel-like contraption (the result may remind some of us oldsters of the old RCA Victor logo) and provide a result almost immediately. They are also able to detect other body-odor-changing diseases including malaria and some cancers.
At least for now, the system is a backup to more common testing methods. All passengers headed for Dubai are now required to provide a negative PCR test for Covid-19 before boarding the plane. If the dogs report a positive, the passenger is then given a new on-the-spot nasal swab PCR test.
As one of an arsenal of procedures, the dogs might have a place at other airports, although, if passenger volume picks up, it may be less useful because the dogs can only sniff one sample at a time; they can't sweep a room as they can for drugs.