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Finland deploys coronavirus-sniffing dogs at main airport
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of ABC News/Associated Press

ABC News/Associated Press, September 23, 2020
Posted: October 19th, 2020

Finland has deployed coronavirus-sniffing dogs at the Nordic countrys main international airport in a four-month trial of an alternative testing method that could become a cost-friendly and quick way to identify infected travelers. Four dogs of different breeds trained by Finlands Smell Detection Association started working Wednesday at the Helsinki Airport as part of the government-financed trial. Its a very promising method, Anna Hielm-Bjorkman, a University of Helsinki ... said. If it works, it will be a good (coronavirus) screening method at any other places, she said, listing hospitals, ports, elderly peoples homes, sports venues and cultural events among the possible locations where trained dogs could put their snouts to work. Finland is the second country after the United Arab Emirates - and the first in Europe - to assign dogs to sniff out the coronavirus. Passengers who agree to take a free test under the voluntary program in Helsinki do not have direct physical contact with a dog. They are asked to swipe their skin with a wipe which is then put into a jar and given to a dog waiting in a separate booth. The participating animals - ET, Kossi, Miina and Valo - previously underwent training to detect cancer, diabetes or other diseases. It takes the dog a mere 10 seconds to sniff the virus samples before it gives the test result by scratching a paw, laying down, barking or otherwise making its conclusion known. The process should be completed within one minute, according to Hielm-Bjorkman.

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