China has decided to require international travelers entering the country to undergo anal swab procedures to test for COVID-19, a method the communist nation insists is more accurate than other on-the-spot mechanisms for detecting the disease.
The Times out of the UK reported Wednesday that China has now made the tests “compulsory,” in a move the newspaper says deepened “a row with other countries over a practice many have described as humiliating.”
What are the details?
According to the New York Post, the Times claims that “as part of the new travel requirement, there will be testing hubs in Beijing and Shanghai airports.” The Sun reported that “the procedure involved inserting a cotton swab about three to five centimeters into the anus and gently rotating it.”
Beijing insists that anal swabs are more accurate than nasal or throat swab tests.
Li Tongzeng, a Chinese respiratory and infectious disease expert, explained to the media last month that the anal swabbing can “avoid missing infections as virus traces are detectable for a longer time than the more common COVID tests used in the mouth and nose.”
As TheBlaze previously reported, Li insisted at the time “that the tests were only necessary for certain populations, such as those under quarantine orders.”
But the news of the widespread mandate comes after the United States and Japan issued separate complaints to China after diplomats from both nations were forced to provide fecal samples via the invasive method.
American diplomats cry foul
Last week, the U.S. State Department protested to China’s Minister of Foreign Affairs after American diplomats cried foul over being subjected to anal swab tests, which “Washington has slammed as ‘undignified,’ according to The Sun.
The Chinese Communist Party has denied that it subjected American diplomats to rectal probing, but then Japan complained this week that the anal swabs were conducted on their diplomats upon entry to China.
Katsunobu Kato, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, said during a news conference, “Some Japanese reported to our embassy in China that they received anal swab tests, which caused a great psychological pain.”
However, Chinese physician Lu Hongzhou suggested on state-run media that foreigners do have an alternative to the swab test upon arrival in the country: providing a stool sample.