China launches anal swab tests to detect high-risk Covid-19 cases

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Forbes – As Chinese authorities struggle to contain rising Covid-19 infections ahead of the Lunar New Year celebrations, Beijing has introduced anal swabs as a new type of coronavirus test that could detect the virus more accurately.

According to Forbes, the state-run channel CCTV reported that the tests are reserved for cases which are deemed as high-risk, although there does not appear to be a coordinated policy for them, with reports of surprise tests for some individuals.. 

The lists includes passengers arriving in Beijing, residents of quarantine centers and, according to local officials, a group of more than 1,000 schoolchildren and teachers believed to be exposed to the virus.  

According to the source, the test involves inserting a cotton-tipped swab about 1-2 inches into the rectum, which will then be tested for the virus.

Anal swab tests could be more accurate than nose or throat tests, said Li Tongzeng, deputy director of the respiratory and infectious diseases department at Beijing You An Hospital, in an interview with state media.

Forbes / Weixin / CCTV / AFP

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