Chinese medical facilities are now using a new, slightly more invasive form of Covid-19 testing : anal testing. As Chinese authorities began to struggle to contain the new rise in Covid-19 infections ahead of the Lunar New Year celebrations, Beijing has now introduced anal swabs as a new form of testing for the coronavirus, which, authorities claim could detect the virus more accurately.
While the coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China, the country soon declared their victory over Covid-19 in March 2020, with their lockdown rules easing up and life going back to normal while the rest of the world dealt with damaging consequences of the spreading of the virus. However, since then, China has seen multiple outbreaks across the country in Beijing, Wuhan, Yunnan, Xinjiang, among other areas. January saw a major outbreak of a second wave which spread quickly across large Chinese countries. These localised outbreaks in the recent weeks have resulted in multiple cities being sealed off from the rest of the country, and has also prompted mass testing campaigns.
While these tests around the globe so far have been using throat and nose swabs, the new anal swabbing method “can increase the detection rate of infected people”, since traces of the virus linger longer in the anus that in the respiratory tract, according to Li Tongzeng, a senior doctor in Beijing’s Youan hospital.
However, it has been made clear that so far, the anal swabs would not be used as widely as the other methods, and will be used only to key groups of people in specific covid facilities.
Amidst this surge, China plans to quickly tackle it by doubling the dose on their locally made vaccines and inoculating around 50 million people by the time the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday in February arrives.