Canine mobile unit helps detect Covid-19 in Thailand



Bangkok, June 17 (EFE) .- A six-dog mobile unit has inspected some 2,000 samples for Covid-19 in Thailand after being trained for months to help fight the pandemic.

The six Labrador retrievers, trained by researchers at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, are able to detect asymptomatic or symptomatic Covid-19 patients by their scent with up to 95% accuracy, the education center said in a statement.

The unit, currently in Bangkok, began to be used in March to detect infections at the offices of the American company Chevron Thailand, which collaborated on the project, and at the Department of Disease Control in Songkhla, in the south of the country. .

These trained animals are able to inspect between 600 and 1,000 samples a day, which they can sniff into a special device that prevents them from becoming infected.

In positive cases, the individuals to whom the sample belongs are subjected to a PCR test to confirm the result.

With the closure of its borders and other measures, Thailand has remained little affected by the pandemic but the latest wave that began in March has skyrocketed cases to more than 207,000 cumulative infections, including more than 1,500 death.

For now, the Covid-19 vaccination campaign is slow, with only around 4.76 million people having received at least one dose in a country of 69 million people.

Thai Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-ocha, who apologized for the delay in vaccinations in recent days, pledged on Wednesday that nearly 50% of the country’s 69 million people will have received at least one dose during the next four months.

In addition, he said he would eliminate the mandatory and supervised 14-day quarantine for travelers vaccinated in 120 days, by October. EFE

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