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Anal swab tests to detect COVID early

It has been reported that China has started using anal swabs to test people that they feel are a high risk of contracting the Covid-19 virus. Doctors  have said that this can be a better way to detect the virus.

Officials had taken anal swabs from people who live in neighbourhoods that have confirmed cases of the virus on Bejing last week. Broadcaster CCTV reported that those in quarentine facilities had also undergone the test.

Chine has now sealed off the country as there has been some small local outbreaks in the last weeks hence the mass testing campaigns. And until now, tests have been conducted using throat and nose swabs.

However, CCTV stated that this anal swab method “can increase the detection rate of infected people” as traces of the virus linger longer in the anus than in the respiratory tract, Li Tongzeng, a senior doctor from Beijing’s You’an Hospital.

This has made users of China’s popular Twitter-like Weibo social media platform reacted to the method with a mix of mirth and horror.

“So lucky I returned to China earlier,” one user wrote.

“Low harm, but extreme humiliation,” another said, using a laughing emotion.

Others who had undergone the procedure chimed in with dark humour.

“I’ve done two anal swabs, every time I did one I had to do a throat swab afterwards – I was so scared the nurse would forget to use a new swab,” one Weibo user joked.

CCTV had said on Sunday that anal swabs would not be used as widely as other methods, as the technique was “not convenient”

As cases rise around the world, China has imposed stricter requirements on international arrivals in an effort to keep domestic close to zero

All arrivals into the country must have multiple negative test results and quarantine for at least 14 days in a designated hotel on arrival, with many cities and regions imposing additional home observation requirements

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