China is now using anal swabs to test people that are deemed ‘high-risk’ for coronavirus, state TV has reported.
According to state broadcaster CCTV, officials are now using anal swabs to test residents from neighbourhoods with confirmed COVID-19 cases, as of last week in Beijing. Meanwhile, those in designated quarantine facilities have also been tested too.
In recent weeks, there have been small, localised outbreaks which have resulted in multiple cities in northern China being sealed off from the rest of the country. As a result, there’s been a series of mass testing campaigns, mainly through throat and nose swabs.
Li Tongzeng, a senior doctor from Beijing’s Youan hospital, told CCTV that the anal swabbing method “can increase the detection rate of infected people”, as traces of the virus appear to linger longer in the anus than in the respiratory tract.
On Sunday, CCTV said anal swabs would not be used widely as a method, despite its results. They said the technique was “not convenient”.
With cases continuing to rise across the world, China has imposed stricter requirements when it comes to international arrivals, this in the effort to keep domestic transmission as close to zero as possible.
Beijing has also announced that people from medium and high-risk areas will be barred from the city in order to reduce the transmission rate over the lunar new year period.
Before arriving into the country, a person must be able to provide multiple negative COVID-19 test results and then quarantine for 14 days at a designated hotel. Many cities and regions are imposing additional home observation requirements too.
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