South Asia and Beyond

China’s Anal Swab Test

Ground Zero of the pandemic—China—is now breaking new ground when it comes to testing for the Coronavirus. Anal swab tests have been made mandatory for almost all international arrivals in the country, sparking disgust and outrage.

Japan has asked Beijing to stop implementing it on Japanese citizens, citing ‘psychological pain’ besides calling the procedure undignified. Some American diplomats have also complained about the method.

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Beijing argues the procedure that involves a 5-cm-long saline-soaked swab is more accurate than other tests. Doctors in China have been using it on domestic patients after some new study suggested that the virus remains longer in the rectum than in the respiratory tract. That’s anal research, literally.