If 2020 was the year when COVID-19 had just set in, 2021 is the year where we prep to beat the virus. Each part of the world affected by the pandemic is trying to find novel ways to cope with the virus and its spread and India is not very behind in the race. Reportedly, India has started training some military dogs to detect the virus.
Colonel Surender Saini, an army dog trainer reportedly shared that this would be the first time for the Indian army to train dogs that can detect the virus.
#WATCH | Delhi: Indian Army dogs have been trained for real-time detection of COVID19. Cocker Spaniel named Casper seen participating in a live demonstration. Jaya and Mani, two dogs of indigenous breed Chippiparai, were also present. pic.twitter.com/18YdHX9Xfw
— ANI (@ANI) February 9, 2021
He also stated that “Based on the statics from the samples which we have tested till the day, we can deduce that the ability to detect the disease is greater than 95% among the sniffer dogs”
Reportedly Cocker Spaniels and Labradors are the special kinds of breeds getting trained. They can detect it from the cells of people who have been infected at a facility in Delhi. 8 dogs are in the process of getting trained, the same report suggests.
Three Specialist Military Dogs – Casper, Jaya & Mani
As per reports, Casper, Jaya & Mani are the three specialist military dogs trained to screen samples and detect the virus. Except for Mani, who is still under training they are the first ones to be trained for the process.
Mani and Jaya are from Tamil Nadu. Casper is a 2-year old male Cocker Spaniel, Jaya is a female Chippiparai who is one-year-old while Mani is an indigenous Chippiparai breed.
Reports suggest that Casper & Jaya have already been put to work in Chandigarh and Delhi. They have been screening samples of soldiers at the forward areas of the Northern Command.
They are an asset as they are pretty fast. A dog can screen as much as 100 samples in 1 hour when given a break of 5 minutes after every 15 minutes.
Another report of India Today suggests that the dogs have screened almost 3,000 samples till now and 18 samples have shown positive results for COVID-19.