China is using anal swabs as a method of detecting coronavirus infections, the New York Post reports. Testing via anal swab is supposedly more reliable than the nose swab test.
The report comes as China experiences a surge in officially recorded coronavirus cases. China had claimed to have had the coronavirus pandemic in the country under control since mid-2020 following the initial outbreak.
Observers have been skeptical, questioning the reliability of the Chinese authorities official figures. On Worldometers, China is listed as 89th in the world for coronavirus, with only 89,272 cases and 4,636 deaths. These numbers have barely been updated since March, when the CCP's case count was about 84,000.
China has been using anal swabs to detect the virus since last year, but has ramped up its usage in the past month as the UK variant of the virus spreads around the country. Nevertheless, nasal and throat swabs remain the most popular form of testing due to their relative ease.
According to reports, the anal swab is inserted up to 2 inches into the rectum.
"Of course, anal swabs aren't as convenient as throat swabs, so they're only being used on individuals in key quarantine areas," said Li Tongzeng, a hospital employee in Beijing. "This will reduce the return of false positives."
"What we've found is that in some infected patients, the coronavirus survives for a longer period of time in their digestive tract or excrement than in their respiratory tract," Tongzeng explained.
The WHO issued a notice last week warning doctors of the potential for false positives when using traditional coronavirus tests, suggesting that testing for the virus should be more rigorous and careful.
Many have questioned throughout the pandemic whether the potential for false positives has artificially raised the number of confirmed cases.
However, this may be measured against those who were infected with coronavirus but did not get tested due to lack of symptoms, so it is hard to say whether confirmed case counts are biased in one direction or the other.