COVID-19 Anal Swab Test has been reintroduced by the Chinese government in a bid to stop the spread of the Omicron variant, bluebloodz.com has learned.
According to reports aleast 27 people underwent the controversial anal swab tests at an apartment building in Beijing where a 26-year-old woman had contracted the Omicron variant, the city’s first recorded case of the variant, according to Chinese newspaper The Beijing News.
The anal tests basically involves inserting a sterile cotton swab up to 2 inches (5cm) into the rectum and rotating it several times. The swab is then removed before being analysed in a standard laboratory.
Beijing is currently observing another phase of a strict lockdown and testing regime after the city reported its first local Omicron infection on January 15, and 11 cases have been confirmed in the capital as of Thursday afternoon, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
Earlier this week, China cancelled plans to sell tickets to the public for the Olympics and said only ‘selected’ spectators will be permitted to attend, as the number of Covid-19 cases in the country reached its highest since March 2020.
Anal swab testing has been used in China since 2020, with lots of controversy springing up in March last year when it extended the use of the anal swabs to any foreign travellers flying into Beijing. A worker at a Beijing epidemic control department told Chinese state media at the time that all international foreign arrivals in the capital could be ordered to take the tests by authorised health officials, although they are not made compulsory for everyone.
Countries such as , Japan, South Korea, and Germany, all raised concerns about the tests, even though China has denied claims that they are required for US diplomats.
Doctors in a statement to state media also added that the tests can prevent infections from being missed with the use of Anal swab test because traces of the virus are accurately detectable for longer than usual in the respiratory tract.