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COVID-19 anal swabs required for international arrivals
Published on: 2021-03-04
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Beijing, Shanghai and Qingdao are requiring certain international arrivals to take anal swab tests before completing quarantine periods, as health experts believe the method is more accurate than nasal and throat swabs.

Some experts even suggested that people under quarantine can submit stool samples instead, so as to reduce the discomfort during the sampling process.

An employee of the Shanghai CDC said that Shanghai asks certain overseas travelers to undergo anal swab testing. For example, travelers on a plane where more than five people test positive for the coronavirus have to undertake a full set of tests, including anal swabs, nasal/throat swab tests, and tests of blood and phlegm. Travelers from countries or regions where the virus is rife or test positive upon arrival also have to undergo this full set of tests, said the employee.

In special circumstances, such as a traveler who has developed symptoms like diarrhea, the person will have to take an anal swab test for COVID-19, the staffer revealed.

Medical staff will collect nasal or throat swab samples of international travelers to Beijing on the third and seventh day after arrival. On the 14th and 21st days after their arrival, anal swab testing will be added.

An employee from Beijing's Daxing district epidemic control department said that general international travelers to Beijing are subject to anal swab testing, along with nasal swab and environment sample testing.

Anal swab testing involves a cotton swab from three to five centimeters long being inserted in one's rectum and gently rotated for 10 seconds of sample excavation, the Beijing health commission explained on its website.



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