China's anal Covid swabs causing 'great psychological pain'

Reuters
·1-min read

Tokyo has asked Beijing to stop taking anal swab tests for Covid-19 on Japanese citizens as the procedure causes psychological pain, a government spokesman says.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said the government has not received a response that Beijing would change the testing procedure, so Japan would continue to ask China to alter the way of testing.

"Some Japanese reported to our embassy in China that they received anal swab tests, which caused a great psychological pain," Kato told a news conference.

People stand in line as medical workers wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) prepare to collect swab samples at a Covid-19 testing center in Shanghai, China, on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021. China remains on high alert and have discouraged travel during the Lunar New Year holiday that starts Feb. 11. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
People stand in line at a Covid-19 testing center in Shanghai, China. Source: Getty

It was not known how many Japanese citizens received such tests for the coronavirus, he said.

Some Chinese cities are using samples taken from the anus to detect potential COVID-19 infections as China steps up screening to make sure no potential carrier of the new coronavirus is missed.

China's foreign ministry denied last month that US diplomats in the country had been required to take anal swab tests for COVID-19, following media reports that some had complained about the procedure.

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