Japanese citizens have filed multiple complaints to the Chinese embassy as they have been subjected to a controversial testing method: the COVID-19 anal test.
The international citizens claim that COVID-19 anal tests in Beijing and Shanghai airports have brought them intense psychological and emotional distress, and would like the practice to be abolished as they feel that their dignity has been “violated.” China has been accused of performing the same procedure on higher-ranked individuals as well, with possible diplomatic implications.
What is COVID-19 anal testing, and why the Chinese government insists on doing it?
Chinese officials state that high-risk citizens (e.g. quarantined individuals who show symptoms or asymptomatic ones) should be subjected to anal swabbing for better results. Even when there is a lack of stools in the anal walls, the cotton can be inserted back into the anus, provided that it’s been previously dipped in a saline solution to gather as much sample material as possible. The scientific explanation behind this (no pun intended), is that residuals of the virus are more prominent in the anal cavity compared to other places in the body. The catch, however, here is that the Chinese themselves don’t know if the method is more effective compared to the traditional method, but they keep probing anyway.
How deep does the swab go?
The cotton swab is inserted about 3-5cm (1-2 inches) assuming that the testing officer is in a good mood. The motion of insertion is followed by a rotational motion for easier entrance and a higher probability of scrubbing the virus off of the anal walls. If traces of contaminated feces are obtained, then the citizen has completed this step and will wait for the results. Otherwise, the swab is soaked a second time and re-inserted. Ouch!
Does it hurt?
Is it necessary?
The Chinese authorities believe so.
Do the benefits outweigh the drawbacks?
Think of it this way: if you were given a higher probability of detecting the COVID-19 virus on your body with anal swabbing compared to other methods, would you still do it? It might actually save some people from getting infected, so try not to think only about your ass, for once.
Will China stop it?
This will have to wait, as we don’t know yet.
What do you think about China’s method?
Would you go ahead and do it?
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