Japan warns China to quit anal COVID-19 tests on its citizens

Japan government has called on Chinese authorities to quit carrying out anal swab tests for Covid-19 on its citizens. According to them, the procedure causes psychological pain.

The chief cabinet secretary of Japan, Katsunobu Kato, stated that some of its citizens abroad had reported the procedure at its embassy in China.

“Some Japanese reported to our embassy in China that they received anal swab tests, which caused a great psychological pain,” Kato told a news conference.

“Japanese government had not received a response that Beijing would change the testing procedure, so Japan would continue to ask China to alter the way of testing.”

“It was not known how many Japanese citizens received such tests for the coronavirus, he added.

According to Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Wang Wenbin, “Beijing’s testing methods were ‘science-based’ and in accordance with the changes in the epidemic situation as well as relevant laws and regulations”.

Some Chinese cities were reportedly using samples taken from the anus to detect potential coronavirus infections. To collect test samples, the swab needs to be inserted about three to five centimetres (1.2 to 2 inches) into the rectum and rotated several times.

Tests using anal swabs can avoid missing infections as virus traces in faecal samples or anal swabs could remain detectable for a longer time than in those from the respiratory tract, Li Tongzeng, a respiratory diseases doctor in Beijing, told state television back in January.

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