News 27 January 2021

China Introduces Anal Swabs To Test For Covid

27 January 2021

China has now introduced new anal swabs to test for coronavirus.

According to state TV in China, the country has started using anal swabs to test people who are thought to be at high risk of catching coronavirus.

Last week, officials took anal swabs from residents of neighbourhoods with confirmed Covid cases in Beijing.

Li Tongzeng, a senior doctor from Beijing’s Youan hospital, told CCTV that the anal swabs method “can increase detection rate of infected people” as traces of coronavirus linger longer in the anus than in the respiratory tract

“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,” Tongzeng added.

“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.”

Small, localised outbreaks in recent weeks have resulted in multiple cities in northern China being sealed off from the rest of the country and prompted mass testing campaigns, which had mostly been conducted using throat and nose swabs.

News of the anal swabs method comes after China has seen small, localised outbreaks of Covid in many of its northern cities, with many areas being sealed off from the rest of the country.