El Salvador will use sniffer dogs to detect Covid-19

San Salvador, Apr 19 (EFE).- El Salvador’s national police invited the media on Monday to witness the training of sniffer dogs to detect the presence of the Covid-19 virus, even in people who people who are asymptomatic.

Project Arcon, as the program is known, was launched by Spanish researcher Jaime Parejo Garcia, who has been in El Salvador since March 8 to oversee the training.

Four police dogs are being prepared to implement the “100 percent secure” detection method, Parejo Garcia told reporters.

One by one, the dogs are brought into a small room and given a piece of gauze imbued with perspiration from a patient confirmed to have Covid-19 to enable them to identify odors that signal the presence of the virus.

When the training is complete, the dogs will be deployed to San Salvador’s Oscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport and to border posts.

Coronavirus has killed 2,078 people El Salvador and nearly 68,000 of the country’s inhabitants have been infected, according to official figures that put the number of active cases at 1,692.

More than 500,000 Covid-19 vaccines have been administered in the Central American country, the health ministry said Sunday.

Nearly 36,000 of the 41,000 injections given on Saturday went to members of the general public, while the remainder were for medical personnel, soldiers, police and teachers.

The vaccines in use in El Salvador – AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Sinovac – require two doses to be fully effective.

El Salvador has commitments from vaccine manufacturers to provide 6.7 million of the 9 million doses needed to reach the goal of immunizing 4.5 million people, Health Minister Francisco Alabi said recently. EFE sa/dr

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