China Starts Using Anal Swabs To Test People For CoVid-19

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China Starts Using Anal Swabs To Test People For CoVid-19

Chinese state television, CCTV, has said that Chinese medical authorities are now using anal swabs to check for Covid-19 infections in an effort to keep community transmission within the country as low as possible. The report said that medics had taken swabs in neighbourhoods in Beijing where there had been indications of infections and also used the technique in several designated quarantine facilities.

Li Tongzeng, a senior doctor from Beijing's Youan hospital, told CCTV that anal swabs were far better at obtaining traces of the virus than the traditional swabs which are put into the mouth and the nose. However, he did say that the method would not be as widespread as the traditional testing method due to its 'inconvenience'.

The doctor said:

"We found that some asymptomatic patients tend to recover quickly. It's possible that there will be no trace of the virus in their throat after three to five days. But the virus lasts longer from the samples taken from the patient's digestive tract and excrement, compared to the ones taken from the respiratory tract. If we conduct anal swabs for nucleic acid testing, it would increase the detection rates of patients and lower the chance of a missed diagnosis."

The news that China was using anal swabs was met with some humour online.

One video which was widely shared online and was picked up by major news organisations, showed a group of people wearing masks waddling, with the claim being made that they had been subjected to the anal swab test. The video was shared extensively on China's leading social-media site Weibo, leading authorities to make a statement saying that the video had been doctored and that the testing would not result in such impairment. The Chinese state has now attempted to remove the video from the internet and says it will take legal action against those spreading fake news.

Despite the virus originally emerging in China, with a wet-market in the southern city of Wuhan being a likely candidate for the original outbreak, China has kept cases and deaths to a minimum compared to other major countries. This has largely been put down to draconian measures, including sealing off whole towns and cities and imposing strict curfews. Mass testing has also been used extensively.

China has recorded small localised outbreaks in several northern cities in recent weeks and several outbreaks in a few districts of Beijing. Beijing has announced that it has barred entry to anyone travelling from medium to high-risk areas for the time being. Anyone entering China from abroad must currently have a negative Covid-19 test and must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in specially designated hotels.

h/t: The Guardian

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Thinking Humanity: China Starts Using Anal Swabs To Test People For CoVid-19
China Starts Using Anal Swabs To Test People For CoVid-19
Chinese state television, CCTV, has said that Chinese medical authorities are now using anal swabs to check for Covide-19 infections in an effort to k
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