The Latest: Britain launches sniffer dog trial

The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially…

The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.


— Britain launches trial to see if dogs can detect whether humans have COVID-19.

— Italy easing travel restrictions put in place in March.

— India surpasses China in coronavirus infection cases.


LONDON — British researchers are launching a trial to see whether dogs can use their noses to detect whether humans have COVID-19 before they show symptoms.

Britain’s health department said Saturday that disease control experts are looking into whether dogs which have been trained to sniff out certain cancers and malaria can potentially be used as a “non-invasive, early warning measure” to identify the coronavirus.

Researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Durham University are collaborating with the charity Medical Detection Dogs. The trial is getting 500,000 pounds ($600,000) of British government funding.

Six dogs, including Labradors and Cocker Spaniels, have started basic training for the trial. In the initial phase, researchers plan to gather odor samples from both people infected with the virus and those who aren’t.

The health department says the dogs will then undergo thorough training using the samples and will only be deployed if backed by strong scientific evidence.


MILAN — Dozens of restaurant owners have protested outside of Milan’s main train station against the new rules for reopening as of Monday.

They say the rules remain unclear and that the entire sector — including suppliers and food producers — is suffering.

They protested in front of signs reading: ‘’I won’t open today to close tomorrow,’’ and calling for an abolition to taxes and more concrete help.

The government early Saturday posted rules for restaurants to reopen, including a distance of at least one-meter (three feet) between patrons, a requirement to take reservations and keep records for at least two weeks and a recommendation to use disposable or electronic menus that can be read on personal devices. It also recommends but does not require taking temperatures of diners as they arrive.

In Italy’s financial capital, 3,400 restaurants plan to open Monday along with 4,800 bars, 2,900 hairdressers, 2,200 clothing stores and 700 shoe shops.


KARACHI, Pakistan — The first Pakistani COVID-19 patient who was treated at a hospital with blood donated from a man who survived the disease has fully recovered.

The patient was treated at a hospital in the country’s southern Sindh province.

Several COVID-19 patients are currently undergoing the plasma therapy after authorities allowed 350 patients to undergo such a clinical trial across the country.

A Pakistani doctor who treated the patient has urged those who defeated coronavirus to donate blood for the treatment that uses plasma from people who have recovered to help seriously ill patients.

The development comes as Pakistan reported 31 more deaths from coronavirus, raising virus-related fatalities to 834.

Pakistan has 38,799 confirmed cases and the increase in infections also coincides with a growing number of daily tests being carried out in this country of 220 million.


ROME — The Italian government is easing travel restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic, allowing people to move freely inside the region where they live as of Monday, and between regions starting June 3.

The government decree announced early Saturday also permits international travel to and from Italy from June 3.

Italy imposed nationwide lockdown rules in early March after it became the first country outside Asia with a major outbreak of coronavirus. More than 31,000 people have died, leaving Italy with the highest death toll after the United States and Britain. But the government led by Premier Giuseppe Conte has gradually reopened the country as the rates of infections and deaths have fallen.

Social distancing rules are being implemented in the sectors of the economy that have reopened, including factories and some businesses. Schools remain closed and crowds are not permitted, though people will be allowed to attend Mass in churches with some restrictions starting next week.


NEW DELHI — India’s coronavirus infection cases have surpassed China’s with the health ministry on Saturday reporting the spike to 85,940 cases with 2,752 deaths.

In total, China has reported 4,633 deaths among 82,933 cases since the virus was first detected late last year in the central city of Wuhan.

The worst hit Indian states are Maharashtra with 29,100 cases, Tamil Nadu 10,108, Gujarat 9,931 and New Delhi 8,895.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s…

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