The Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) has been training 10 dogs with the skills necessary to sniff for and track down people positive with Covid-19.

CMAC director-general Heng Ratana told The Post on March 25 that in addition to the 10 dogs, CMAC has also prepared equipment for training the dogs in soft and hard skills.

He said preparations were in place, pending further discussion with the Ministry of Health’s specialist officials on how to train the dogs with the Covid-19 sniffing skills.

Ratana said the 10 dogs were divided into two teams of five. They are dogs that have been undergoing basic training. Other dogs that have already received higher-level training in mine sniffing would not be used in Covid-19 tracking.

“There’s no challenge in training the dogs because CMAC’s experts are highly confident. So, there’s nothing that we can’t do. Other countries have already used dogs, such as Germany and Russia, among others,” he said.

Ratana inspected the dogs on March 24 at CMAC’s Technical Institute of Mine Action in Kampong Chhnang province to get ready for medical scientists and CMAC’s dogs expert team to work together to find all possible methods to fight Covid-19.

He said this was initiated by Prime Minister Hun Sen in a bid to contain Covid-19, which is currently spreading in the community.

Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said she did not have detailed information on the issue.

Ratana said he had already discussed with health minister Mam Bunheng and decided to hand over the work to the University of Health Sciences to implement the project in cooperation with CMAC.