The British government has allocated £500,000 in funding to train dogs to become ‘Covid-19 sniffer dogs’ it has emerged.
Labradors and cocker spaniels will be taught the differences n odour between those infected with the virus and with those who are not.
Medical detection dogs are currently in service worldwide sniffing out cancer and other life-threatening diseases in people.
The trials will start in London hospitals in a hope the non-evasive way can be used in future to detect people with the disease for social-distancing and quarantine purposes aswell as getting people immediate treatment.
The research will be conducted by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), Durham University and the charity Medical Detection Dogs.
Dr Claire Guest, co-founder and chief executive of Medical Detection Dogs, said: “They have the potential to help by quickly screening people, which could be vital in the future.
“We are sure our dogs will be able to find the odour of COVID-19 and we will then move into a second phase to test them in live situations, following which we hope to work with other agencies to train more dogs for deployment.
It is hoped the dogs could eventually screen up to 250 people in sixty minutes.