China denied making U.S. diplomats take anal-swab COVID-19 tests on Thursday after reports that local U.S. citizens had protested their use.
U.S. personnel had complained to the U.S. State Department that they were subjected to the anal testing last week, The Washington Post reported. Anal swabs were adopted in some Chinese cities after medical authorities suggested they would “increase the detection rate of infected people,” experts told the BBC.
China denies requiring anal swabs from US diplomats https://t.co/mo4MHjyzmV
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) February 25, 2021
“I have checked with my colleagues. As far as I know, China has never required US diplomatic staff in the country to take anal swab tests,” Chinese foreign spokesperson Zhao Lijian said, according to Business Insider.
An official from the State Department said China claimed the test was given “in error,” suggesting that it was a mistake, according to Vice. China said it would avoid these types of tests on U.S. diplomats, the official told Vice. (RELATED: White House Ramps Up Calls For ‘Robust, International’ Probe Of COVID Origins, With Full Access To China’s Data)
An infectious disease doctor in Beijing, Li Tongzeng, told The Washington Post that anal tests may be better at detecting the virus.
“If we add anal swab testing, it can raise our rate of identifying infected patients,” he told the Post.