A Covid-19 detection dog programme, that is already being trialled in Lebanon, is in the early stages of testing in Britain.
The study is built on the scientifically proven ability of dogs to act as great biosensors, capable of detecting odours associated with human health, as well as drugs, explosives and food.
Researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine are currently carrying out the research, which relies on samples from volunteers who have recently done a Covid-19 test or are experiencing symptoms and awaiting a test.
If successful, experts have predicted that sniffer dogs could screen up to 250 people per hour with an accuracy level of 98 to 100 per cent.
Professor James Logan, head researcher at the Department of Disease Control at London School of Hygeine and Tropical Medicine, told BBC radio 4 that the training could be completed in eight weeks but more volunteers were still needed.
“Some of our initial results look promising but we’ve still got a way to go, we’ve got to get more samples in from people who are positive with Covid-19 so we can fully know how well the dogs can do it.