Twenty four people, who arrived at the airport here on Thursday from a flight from the UAE, were sent to quarantine centres after trained dogs identified them as carriers of the coronavirus, according to authorities here. The Pakistan International Airlines flight PK-218 from Abu Dhabi landed at Peshawar’s Bacha Khan International Airport with 128 passengers on board.
The rapid swab tests of 128 passengers were conducted at the airport. Out of the 128 passengers, tests of 24 people identified by the trained dogs confirmed that they were COVID-19 positive, the airport authorities said.
Trained dogs deployed at the airport helped detect the COVID-19 positive patients arriving by flights, they said. The affected patients were immediately shifted to the quarantine centre in Peshawar despite protests by the passengers.
The airport authorities immediately called the police and administration officials to shift them to the quarantine centre. According to a new research in the UK, specially trained dogs can rapidly and non-invasively detect COVID-19 with up to 94.3 per cent sensitivity and up to 92 per cent specificity. The dogs were able to detect odour from individuals who were asymptomatic, as well as those with two different strains of COVID-19, and with both high and low viral loads, the study released last month said.
With the threat of new variants entering the country, the need for testing means we face potential continued disruption for some time to come. That’s where these amazing dogs could play a role, said Professor James Logan, Head of the Department of Disease Control at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, who led the project.