'It's a psychological distress': Japan asks China to stop anal swab tests for coronavirus on citizens

WION Web Team
Beijing, China Published: Mar 02, 2021, 11:07 AM(IST)

Coronavirus in China Photograph:( Reuters )

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To perform these tests, a 3-5cm (1.2-2.0 inches) cotton swab is inserted into the anus and gently rotated to get the sample, which is then tested for the deadly coronavirus

There are different ways of testing people for the deadly coronavirus but China has come up with a new way, and Japan has had to intervene to protect its citizens from this new test.

Japan has warned China to stop taking anal swab tests for coronavirus on its citizens upon their entrance to the country.

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Some citizens have complained that the procedure of this anal swab test has caused them "psychological distress".

As per reports, China started carrying out anal swab tests in January — a few days after the Asian country was able to control the domestic cases. 

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China, from where the coronavirus reportedly began, has denied the accusation that it had asked US diplomats to undergo such tests. The denial came after some of the local US media houses complained about the anal swab test procedure.

"Some Japanese reported to our embassy in China that they received anal swab tests, which caused great psychological pain," Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said.

To perform these tests, a 3-5cm (1.2-2.0 inches) cotton swab is inserted into the anus and gently rotated to get the sample, which is then tested for the deadly coronavirus.

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These swab tests have been used on Japanese citizens who were already quarantined or were entering China. However, it has not been confirmed how many Japanese citizens have been subjected to this procedure.

The Japanese authorities also said that, as of now, the use of this strange swab test "has not been confirmed anywhere else in the world".

Anal swab tests were introduced in a few select Chinese cities where experts claimed these can "increase the detection rate of infected people".

However, at the time of the launch, the local media had reported a conflict between experts as some of them believed these swab tests were less efficient in the upper respiratory tracts, and the usual swab tests should be preferred as most people contract the deadly virus orally.

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