China requires some travelers arriving from abroad to receive an aggressive anal swab test as part of its coronavirus prevention measures, a move that has angered and shaken many foreign governments.
Japanese officer Said on monday He had formally asked China to exempt Japanese nationals from the test, adding that some had complained of it being a “psychological crisis”. And the United States Department of State called it the last insect Had lodged a protest Some of its diplomats were forced to undergo anal swab with the Chinese authorities, although Chinese officials denied it.
It is unclear how many such swabs have been administered or who are subject to them. Chinese state media is accepted Arrivals are required to perform tests in some cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, although the report states that requirements may vary depending on what passengers are considered to be at high risk.
Chinese experts have suggested that traces of the virus may live longer in the anus than in the respiratory tract, and earlier specimens may prevent erroneous symptoms. China has implemented some of the most stringent prevention measures in the world, including preventing the majority of foreign arrivals, and has substantially suppressed the epidemic.
Lu Hongzhou, an infectious disease specialist at Fudan University in Shanghai, states state-controlled Global Times Tabloid Nose or throat malformations can lead to “uncomfortable reactions”, which can lead to subpar samples. They acknowledged that fecal specimens could replace anal swabs to prevent similar discomfort.
But other experts – including China – have questioned the need for anal specimens. Global Times Cited Another expert, Yang Zhankieu, stated that swelling in the nose and throat is still the most effective because the virus has contracted through the respiratory tract.
Benjamin cowling, A public health professor at the University of Hong Kong, said in an interview that even if someone had tested positive on anal cavity, but not a respirator, it would likely not be very contagious.
“The value of detecting people with the virus is to prevent transmission,” Professor Cowling said. “If someone has got an infection, but they are not contagious to anyone else, we don’t need to locate that person.”
A spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said This week that the government will make “science-based adjustments” in its participatory policies.
Professor Cowling said he did not know what the scientific rationale was behind the current policies. “I think there is some evidence for this decision, but I have not seen that evidence,” he said.