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From Landmines To Covid-19! Cambodia Successfully Trains Dogs To Sniff Out The Covid-19 Virus


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Source:Channel News Asia

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The most convenient way of testing for Covid-19 is via a swab test done through the nose or mouth. However, this has not stopped countries from all over the world to explore different methods to test for the virus. It was previously reported in Thailand that researchers have successfully used armpit sweat to test for the virus, whilst China has introduced anal swab tests.

Now, authorities in Cambodia have reported that they have successfully trained dogs to sniff out Covid-19. According to the Phnom Penh Post, the Cambodia Mine Action Centre (CMAC) started training 12 Belgian Malinois dogs to detect Covid-19 ever since early July after the canines were taught to be obedient.



CMAC director-general Heng Ratana had said that the University of Health Sciences had provided samples of volatile organic compounds – organic chemicals that emit odours – from Covid-19 patients to the demining agency’s facility in the Kampong Chhnang province, where the dogs were trained.

Dog Sniff


According to Ratana, the dogs will sniff an odour detector which consists of the Covid-19 odour taken from an infected patient. He also said hoped that the centre is able to use the dogs at major events including sports matches in the future.

Whilst Svay Rieng provincial health department director Ke Ratha said that although the trained dogs may detect the Covid-19 odour, the testing of people suspected of having Covid-19 will still be required.

“It is like taking a dog to sniff for mine. If it smells the mine, the technical official will check for the mine at a particular place. If dog sniffs and finds people with the virus, then we will take that individual’s samples for testing.”

Although the canines still have a few months left in their training regime, the current results are promising.

Channel News Asia reported that four of those dogs are now able to detect the Covid-19 virus when placed in a one-metre tube in less than a minute whilst the other eight are training to root out the scents in an open space at any location.



Dog trainer Khom Sokly said, “After two and a half months, our dogs are in an early stage of success (so) they could sniff out the scent of Covid-19.”

“In the future, I hope the dogs could take part in preventing or reducing Covid-19 because they are fast.”

This discovery will be hugely beneficial as an arsenal of Cambodia’s fight against the virus. As of 28 September, 66% of the country has been fully vaccinated. Cambodia also has a major problem with landmines as civil wars and US bombings in the past have left the country as one of the most heavily bombed and mined countries in the world.

The sniffer dogs play a huge role in sniffing out landmines and now they can play another huge role in helping officials detect Covid-19 infected patients.


What do you think of this? Let us know in the comments.


Also read: Thailand Uses Armpit Sweat To Test For Covid-19, Researchers Claim It’s 95% Accurate

Armpit Sweat

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