No, this is not a joke, unfortunately. Chinese authorities have begun using rectal samples to test people who are at risk for COVID-19. With this method, China wants to increase the rate of coronavirus detection in the population.
Authorities conducted rectal sampling last week in neighborhoods in Beijing where contamination with the new strain of coronavirus was confirmed, according to CCTV, a method also used in quarantine.
Small outbreaks of COVID
Small outbreaks, detected in recent weeks, have led to the quarantine of several cities in the north of the country and massive testing campaigns in which samples were taken from the mouth and nose. The method of taking rectal samples “can increase the rate of detection of infected people”, because the virus persists longer in the anus than in the respiratory tract, says for TCTV a doctor from Youan Hospital in Beijing, Li Tongzeng.
CCTV announced on Sunday that these rectal samples should not be used as widely as other screening methods, as this method “is not practical.”
In the context of the pandemic’s balance sheet growing in the world, China has imposed stricter measures on arrival in China, in order to keep domestic transmission of the virus as close to zero as possible.
Beijing has also tightened domestic restrictions and said it is reducing – starting Thursday – access to the capital for people at medium or high risk of infection, in order to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus during the Chinese New Year. .
People arriving in China are required to submit the result of multiple tests and be quarantined for at least 14 days in designated hotels. Also, many cities and regions require additional measures.