Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Nine canines successfully trained in Covid detection

Nine canines successfully trained in Covid detection

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Heng Ratana visits the pack of Covid-19 detecting dogs at the CMAC Kampong Chhang training centre on Thursday. HENG RATANA VIA FACEBOOK

Nine canines successfully trained in Covid detection

Nine dogs that underwent Covid-19 detection training at the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) over the past few months can now identify people with the coronavirus and can isolate them from among thousands in only 10-15 seconds.

Speaking at a ceremony to inspect the progress of research and development of dog sniffing for Covid-19 at CMAC’s Technical Institute of Mine Action in Kampong Chhnang province on October 27, CMAC director-general Heng Ratana said he was very proud of the expert training the dogs received. Officials researched, documented and provided the best training for the dogs to be able to detect Covid-19 in people, he said.

Ratana added that training the dogs to sniff out infected people is an important step in fighting Covid-19. The canines can now participate in preventing the spread of the virus with their abilities to detect infected individuals in only about 10-15 seconds.

He said the dogs are another tool to be used in finding infected people in places such as border checkpoints, airports and major events. Once somebody is detected with the coronavirus, medical procedures can be implemented.

“Dogs are no different from cardiopulmonary resuscitation or a rapid test. Thus, dogs are a tool that signals who is suspected of being infected with the virus. The individuals must then go through further tests or whatever is the Ministry of Health’s procedure. Dogs are just a tool for health professionals to continue their work,” he said.

He said further training would take place next week when more samples will be delivered by the University of Health Sciences.

Neither health ministry secretary of state York Sambath nor the ministry’s spokeswoman Or Vandine could be reached for comment on October 28.

But Svay Rieng provincial health department director Ke Ratha said that if the dogs are capable of sniffing for people infected with the coronavirus without spending much money, it would make a significant contribution to reducing the spread of the disease.

However, Ratha said this work must have enough trained dogs to detect people with Covid-19 in the provinces or areas where there is a high risk of infection.

“Using the dogs effectively is good because it does not cost much money and does not take much time. In particular, it contributes to reducing the risk of infection. If somebody is found to be infected, they can get treatment at home or at an arranged place timely,” he said.


  • Cambodia to waive quarantine requirements Nov 15, no PCR test required

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has decided to lift all quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travellers and visitors – both Cambodians and foreign nationals – effective from November 15 onward. In a special message addressed to officials and relevant authorities on November 14, Hun Sen said this policy will enable

  • PM: No more quarantine for vaccinated travellers

    Cambodia is lifting all quarantine requirements for vaccinated inbound travellers entering Cambodia by air, waterway or land border checkpoints effective from November 15. Travellers will be required to take a rapid antigen test on arrival rather than waiting for the results of the lengthier polymerase chain

  • No payment required for travellers taking rapid Covid tests on arrival

    Ministry of Health officials said there would be no payment required for the rapid Covid-19 tests given to travellers who arrive in Cambodia from November 15 onwards after the quarantine requirement is lifted for fully vaccinated people. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told The Post on

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration