After US diplomats reportedly expressed their discomfort last week, another country has spoken out against China’s recent anal swab testing. This time, it is the Japanese government that has requested the PRC not to give its citizens entering the country anal COVID-19 tests.
On Monday, a top government spokesman said they had received complaints of “psychological distress” from some citizens, according to Kyodo News.
The news comes after the US State Department made a similar request to Beijing after US diplomats were allegedly subject to the alternative form of testing.
Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato urged China to exempt its citizens from said testing method, which has been used for some quarantining or entering the country. Kato noted it “has not been confirmed anywhere else in the world,” as cited by Kyodo.
Both the US and Japan have said anal swab testing violates their dignity, while Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said China adjusted anti-epidemic measures “in a scientific manner” in accordance with relevant laws and regulations.
Chinese studies have shown that stool tests may be more effective than respiratory tests in identifying SARS-CoV-2. According to a study published by the Guangzhou Medical University, it concluded that “Detectable SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the digestive tract was a potential warning indicator of severe disease.”
So, it seems like anal swabs could be here to stay.
[Cover image via NIAID-RML]