How will we do it?
Proof of principle
First we need to collect odour samples from people who are infected with COVID-19, and people who are uninfected. Then, we will use those odour samples with six medical detection dogs that are ready for advanced training with the COVID-19 samples. Through an intensive training programme, we will test the method rigorously and, if successful, we could deploy dogs within as little as 8-10 weeks after training.
If successful we will work with other experienced partners to scale-up our operations rapidly to deploy the trained dogs during the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic. Once trained, detection dogs could be deployed in airports or other venues to screen large numbers of people, providing a rapid non-invasive screening for COVID-19. One single dog can screen up to 250 people per hour. We are already discussing scale up with international border agencies in several countries around the world.