COVID-19: China faces criticism over anal test for inbound travellers

The decision of the Chinese authorities to subject some inbound travellers to the COVID-19 anal swab test has met fierce pushback.

In January, some Chinese cities introduced anal testing on the grounds that it is more effective than throat and nose swabs.

Some Chinese experts have argued that traces of the virus may survive longer in the anus than in samples of the respiratory tract and that anus swab may prevent false negatives, The New York Times reports.

On Monday, Japanese authorities asked China to stop subjecting its citizens who enter the country to anal tests. 

This was after some Japanese reportedly complained that the procedure caused them “psychological distress”.

“Some Japanese reported to our embassy in China that they received anal swab tests, which caused great psychological pain,” Katsunobu Kato, chief cabinet secretary, had said.

Similarly, some US media platforms had reported that Chinese authorities were subjecting their diplomats to anal swab tests, following series of complaints.

However, China has denied the allegations.

“China has never required US diplomatic staff stationed in China to conduct anal swab tests,” Zhao Lijian, the country’s foreign ministry spokesperson, told the BBC. 

Meanwhile, some Chinese experts have disagreed with the usage of anal swab tests for COVID-19, saying the efficacy is doubtful. (TheCableng)


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