"I did one I had to do a throat swab afterwards – I was so scared the nurse would forget to use a new swab"
China is introducing the use of anal swabs to test for Coronavirus.
Officials used the method of testing on residents in neighbourhoods with COVID-19 in various Chinese cities.
Screening has stepped up across China to ensure carriers are detected ahead of next month’s Lunar New Year holidays when tens of millions are expected to travel home.
A city official in Weinan, Shaanxi province said a 52-year-old man with symptoms tested negative for Coronavirus through standard testing but positive through an anal swab.
The alternative method involves inserting a cotton swab three to five centimetres into the anus and gently rotating it.
“There may be traces of the coronavirus detected in the abdominal cavity faeces and intestine,” said Zhang Wenhong of Huashan Hospital, Shanghai.
In Beijing, over 1000 teachers, staffers and students at a primary school underwent the anal swab method as well as nose and throat swabs.
Respiratory specialist Dr Li Tongzeng explained that virus traces in faecal samples could remain detectable for a longer time than in samples taken from the upper respiratory tract.
Researchers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong also found that stool tests are more effective than respiratory tests in identifying Coronavirus infections among children as they carry a higher viral loads in their stools than adults.
On Weibo, people who went through the method shared their experience.
“Low harm, but extreme humiliation,” one person said.
“I’ve done two anal swabs, every time I did one I had to do a throat swab afterwards – I was so scared the nurse would forget to use a new swab,” another joked.
In other news, a 16-year-old boy has been sentenced for beating up a Singaporean student in London.