China using anal swabs to test for COVID-19

So China is using a new method to test its citizens for the COVID-19.

According to Bloomberg and the Washington Post, who cited Chinese media, It’s using anal swabs as a means of COVID-19 testing for patients considered to be high-risk.

The anal swab method involves the insertion of a saline-soaked cotton swab about three to five centimeters (about 1 to 2 inches) into the anus, and then the sample is tested for active traces of the virus.

The country is also continuing to use throat and nose swabs.

Li Tongzeng, deputy director of the respiratory and infectious disease department of Beijing You An Hospital, said in a recent interview with state television that the testing method was introduced after research showed that traces of COVID-19 can be found longer in the anus than in the respiratory tract.

“If we add anal swab testing, it can raise our rate of identifying infected patients,” Tongzeng said, according to the Washington Post. “But of course considering that collecting anal swabs is not as convenient as throat swabs, at the moment only key groups such as those in quarantine receive both.”