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Japan Requests China To Stop Anal Swab Tests For COVID-19 On Japanese Citizens

by Kim Jam / Mar 02, 2021 05:26 AM EST
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Japan has demanded China to break taking anal swab tests for COVID-19 on Japanese people as it causes psychological pain, a government spokesman said on Monday.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said the government had 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.

"At this point, we have not received a response that they will change this ... We will continue pressing the issue," he added, noting that there was no information that any other country was using the method.

Japan's interference comes after reports that U.S. diplomatic personnel in China had complained of being subjected to the invasive tests - a claim Beijing denied.

Kato said at a regular news conference the government would continue to urge China to exempt its citizens from such a test method, used on some of those quarantined or entering China, noting it "has not been confirmed anywhere else in the world."

China, which has mostly brought the virus under control domestically, said last month that anal swabs could be more effective than normal throat and nose tests as the virus can linger longer in the digestive system.

According to experts at the Chinese University of Hong Kong paper published last year, stool tests may also be more operative in detecting infections in children and infants. Their excess transmits an advanced viral load than adults.

China's camp denied last month that U.S. diplomats in the country had been obligated to yield anal swab tests for COVID-19, following media reports that diplomats had complained about the method.

The tests involve inserting a cotton swab 3-5cm (1.2-2.0 inches) into the anus and gently rotating it.

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