THE Commonwealth Ports Authority is exploring the feasibility of using Covid-sniffing dogs at the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport.
The idea was brought up during the CPA board's recent meeting, according to CPA Executive Director Chris Tenorio.
He said a staff member has been tasked to conduct research and look into the experiences of other jurisdictions utilizing Covid-sniffing dogs as part of border security measures.
CPA wants to know how it can acquire the dogs and how to train their handlers.
Right now, Tenorio said they have no “solid plan” yet, but the idea has been accepted by the board.
CPA Board Chairwoman Kimberlyn King-Hinds said in line with the governor’s request “to continue to look for ways to stay vigilant in keeping our community safe from Covid-19,” CPA is “exploring the feasibility of acquiring Covid-sniffing dogs as an added layer of detection for our borders.”
She added, “This is all very preliminary, due diligence and more research needs to be done to see what the science says about it. We also need to see what other jurisdictions are doing and see if this is a worthy investment for the CNMI."
King-Hinds reiterated that CPA is at the "preliminary stages and still needs to do a lot of due diligence but it’s on our list of things to do."
Tenorio said that right now, CPA, along with the Governor's Covid-19 Task Force and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., is well-equipped in detecting Covid-19 at the airport.