Camilla meets dogs being trained to detect coronavirus

The Duchess of Cornwall has come up close and personal with dogs being trained to sniff out coronavirus.

Camilla – who was sporting a plastic face shield for the first time in public – visited the Medical Detection Dogs charity in Milton Keynes today where she watched as cocker spaniel Asher and fox red Labrador Belle tried to detect the smell of Covid-19.

The canines were demonstrating ‘passive screening’ – which could be used in public places such as airports.

The trial could overhaul the diagnosis of the virus if people can be screened en masse.

If successful, dogs could be deployed to airports in the UK within six months to assist with rapid screening of incoming overseas passengers – potentially up to 250 people per hour.

The duchess was impressed as the dogs quickly identify a ‘stooge’ passenger carrying a training odour.

Speaking after the demonstration, she appealed to hospitals to provide more coronavirus samples to help with training.

The charity needs 375 positive samples but only have 10, ITV royal correspondent Chris Ship reported.

The team at the Medical Detection Dogs charity's training centre in Milton Keynes perform a demonstration for the Duchess of Cornwall.

The dogs could be deployed to British airports to screen incoming passengers for coronavirus (Picture: PA)

Camilla wears a face shield for the first time in public.
Camilla was wearing a face shield for the first time in public (Picture: PA)

Camilla said the study could be a ‘game-changer’ for Britain and the world if it is successful.

She said: ‘Please, please give the medical detection cloths with these samples because they are going to help save thousands of lives.’

Professor Steve Lindsay, from Durham University, added: ‘This could be very important to help prevent a second wave of the epidemic.’

Bio Detection Dogs already investigate samples to find the odour of cancer, malaria, Parkinson’s and other diseases.

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