Backs against the wall! China has started using anal swabs to test for Covid-19. According to state media, the alarming and invasive testing method is currently being used in Beijing neighborhoods with confirmed Covid cases and other quarantine facilities.
Up until now, Covid testing across China, including the mass testing carried out in recent weeks at high and medium-risk hot spots, has been conducted using nose or throat swabs. Some areas are, however, switching to anal swabs as doctors say they are more effective at detecting the virus, which lingers longer in the bowels that it does in the respiratory tract.
News of the new procedures have set both Chinese and Western social media aflame, with some netizens calling it an elaborate form of public humiliation. CCTV has, however, confirmed that is it unlikely the anal swab will be used as widely as other testing methods because it is “not convenient.” Phew!
Meanwhile, Beijing is stepping up its COVID prevention methods further in the lead up to Chinese New Year. From today, which marks the start of the New Year travel rush, domestic travelers from medium and high-risk areas will be barred from entering the city.
Anyone entering Beijing from anywhere else, including low-risk areas and Beijing returnees, will also be required to hold a negative nucleic acid test from no more than seven days before entry. Visitors who plan to stay in the city for more than two weeks will also need to adhere to 14 days of health monitoring, including two further tests, one on day seven and one on day 14.
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Keywords: anal swabs covid-19
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