China has reportedly introduced a new way of testing for COVID-19: Anal swabs.
That's right, according to the Washington Post, Chinese news outlets are saying that this new test is being used for patients who are considered to be high-risk and involves inserting a cotton swab about 3 to 5 centimeters into the rectum. And their argument for this arguably more invasive method? Well, it's supposed to be more accurate, as the virus can still apparently be found in the lower digestive tract days after negative nasal and throat tests.
"If we add anal swab testing, it can raise our rate of identifying infected patients," Beijing You'an Hospital's Li Tongzeng recently told state-run broadcaster CCTV. "But of course considering that collecting anal swabs is not as convenient as throat swabs, at the moment only key groups such as those in quarantine receive both."
Granted, while the anal method has already been rolled out in a few different places, China is apparently still planning to use throat and nasal swabs for the most part. But even so, the vast majority of people appear to be less than enthused about the prospect of being probed, with 80 percent of users on Chinese social media platform Weibo saying they "could not accept" the new test.