A new report has revealed that anyone who is flying into the country of China can now be forced to have an anal swab COVID-19 test, much to the chagrin of international travelers everywhere.
“China has made anal swab tests for the coronavirus mandatory for almost all international arrivals, deepening a row with other countries over a practice many have described as humiliating,” The Times of London said in a new report.
This has caused quite a few foreign governments to get upset and protest the move.
“The Japanese government has already raised concern about its citizens being subjected to the ‘undignified’ procedure while American diplomats have also complained,” the British paper went on to say. “Katsunobu Kato, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, said it would ask China to alter its testing regimen after some Japanese travellers reported suffering ‘psychological pain’ from the invasive procedure.”
Germany is also not too happy with the tests, stating that some of its citizens have faced what they referred to as “tightened procedures.”
“We have repeatedly raised that issue vis-à-vis the Chinese government, especially with regard to the medical tests and examinations that are taking place against the will of the persons concerned,” a German diplomatic source told liberal news site Vice.
In Shanghai, travelers from high-risk regions and fliers who arrive on airplanes with at least five positive cases must take a full battery of tests, including anal swabs, The Daily Mail wrote.
“China’s disease control centre says the test is performed with a sterile swab that is inserted up to two inches into the anus before being gently rotated out,” the Mail reported.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin defended the anal swabs as “science-based” and says the tests are “in accordance with the changes in the epidemic situation as well as relevant laws and regulations.”
The Mail cited Li Tongzeng from Beijing’s You’an Hospital, who said on state broadcaster CCTV that traces of the coronavirus are detectable longer in the anus or in feces than samples taken from the throat and nose.
“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,” Li stated. “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,” he went on to say.
Well, all I can say is, if you were planning on visiting China, I’d reschedule for a later date in time. Unless you’re the sort of person who doesn’t mind incredibly invasive procedures like this. If that’s you, well, enjoy.
As for me, that’s a hard pass.