A Cambodian government agency that uses dogs to detect land mines said Monday that some have been successfully trained to detect coronavirus infections in humans.

Heng Ratana, head of the Cambodian Mine Action Center, told Kyodo News by telephone that so far, three dogs have learned to sniff out specific volatile organic compounds for COVID-19 detection, while another seven dogs are making "remarkable progress."

A coronavirus detection dog is pictured at a training center in Kompong Chhnang Province, 90 kilometers north of Phnom Penh. (Photo courtesy of Cambodian Mine Action Center)(Kyodo)

He said they take less than 15 seconds to accomplish the task.

Heng Ratana suggested the dogs could be used to detect the virus at crowded places like airports or stadiums.

The center and the University of Health Sciences, a public university in Phnom Penh, have worked together for research and development of these COVID-19 detection dogs.

On Monday, the Health Ministry announced 569 new coronavirus cases, with 22 deaths. Since the start of the pandemic, a total of 78,474 cases have been detected, with 1,442 deaths.