Chinese health authorities are ordering the use of controversial but more precise anal swabs to detect COVID-19 for a third year running as Omicron spreads in country, Per Second News gathered.
At least 27 anal tests had been administered in the apartment complex where an woman lives. Health workers also conducted extensive environmental swabs to trace the source of transmission.
Persecondnews.com learnt that China has deployed anal swabs in major cities including Beijing and Shanghai since 2020. In the capital, the method was used in combination with antibody tests as well as throat and nasal swabs to screen millions last winter. While the approach isn’t considered practical for tracking larger clusters—an established method known as “pooling” is preferred—anal swabs are thought to be more accurate, especially in COVID hotspots.
In a report that aired in 2021, infectious disease expert Dr. Li Tongzeng, with Beijing You’an Hospital, told China’s state broadcaster CCTV that anal swabs were effective at detecting infections in asymptomatic cases or in individuals with mild symptoms. Both groups tend to recover from the illness more quickly, he said. “It’s possible that there will be no trace of the virus in their throat after three to five days,” he added.