Tension between Japan and China over COVID-19 anal tests

The Government of Japan asked China to stop forcing Japanese citizens arriving in the country to undergo anal tests for COVID-19, because they cause them “psychological distress,” local media reported yesterday.

The request was forwarded to the Chinese Executive through the Japanese Embassy in Beijing, the Japanese Chief of Cabinet and Minister Spokesman Katsunobu Kato said in statements to the media.

Kato pointed out that, for the moment, they have not received a response from the Chinese authorities and added that this type of test “has not been used anywhere else in the world.”

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Japan’s diplomatic protest follows a similar protest filed last week by US government delegates in China.

The Chinese cities of Beijing and Qingdao included in late January coronavirus anal tests among the requirements for people from abroad, a type of test that had already been used in Shanghai in early 2020 as one of the standards to authorize discharge hospitalized virus patients.

This new test method is required as part of the quarantine requirements on arrival in the country from abroad and, according to experts cited by the Chinese media, would be more accurate than others commonly used such as taking pharyngeal samples with swabs introduced to through the nose -the most common for PCR tests-, saliva or blood.

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