Anal Swabs: A New COVID Testing Method in China

Education News | Feb-02-2021

Anal Swabs: A New COVID Testing Method in China

China has a strict pandemic strategy since the inception of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan. China has geared up their efforts to neutralize the virus as new outbreaks are challenging its stringent practices. Amid this, they have a new weapon for mass testing and that is anal swabs. Right now, there is no nationwide policy on using anal swabs. Though there are some residents in China’s northern regions who are subjected to the swab technique with little warning. The region had an emergence of more than 1,700 cases. The technique is held by the insertion of a saline-soaked cotton swab into the anus. The insertion in the anal is for about two to three centimeters. The sample is then taken for a test to find the active traces of the virus.
Anal, throat, and nose swabs of more than 1,000 school children and teachers were conducted in Beijing in the third week of January 2021. It was done with a separate antibody test too. This was done due to the detection of one asymptomatic virus on campus according to some local officials.
The new detection technique is more accurate. This is because the method is based on the research that tells about the long-lasting nature of traces of virus found in the anus. These traces last longer than the ones found in the respiratory tract. This was said in an interview with state television by Li Tongzeng, Deputy Director of the respiratory and infectious disease department of Beijing You An Hospital. The accuracy of anal swabs is more than that of throat and nose tests especially when we want to detect asymptomatic cases. He also mentioned that these are used only by at-risk groups that also include the ones at quarantine sites.

By: Kiara Sharma

Mahaveer Public School