China Using Anal Swabs for COVID-19 Testing

Passengers arriving from overseas to China must undergo a new Covid-19 test, no longer carried out in the nose or throat , but in the rectum through anal swabs.

China Using Anal Swabs for COVID Testing

In the Daxing district, south of Beijing, more than a thousand teachers and students have been subjected to rectal screening, in addition to the nose and throat swab.

The test involves inserting a cotton-tipped swab about 1-2 inches into the rectum, which will then be tested for the virus.

Anal swab tests could be more accurate than nose or throat tests, said Li Tongzeng, deputy director of the respiratory and infectious diseases department at Beijing You An Hospital, in an interview with state media. 

For doctor Li Tongzeng, these new tests are very useful:

“The coronavirus remains present longer in the anus than in the respiratory tract. Rectal screening makes it possible to increase the rate of detection of infected persons, in particular by the new variants.”

“All of these tests, in the throat, nose, rectal screening and blood test, are ways that limit the risk of missing a positive case.”

On Chinese social networks, the test is deemed “embarrassing, humiliating”.

For latest updates on the outbreak check out our Coronavirus Coverage.

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