A video demonstrating how the anal swab is collected for COVID-19 testing, despite involving a dummy and not a real patient – is going viral on social media amid reports that “thousands of people in China” have already been subjected to the procedure.
NEW - China demonstrates how to perform an #COVID19 anal swab sample collection. Passengers on a flight to Beijing were taken to a hotel where they were subjected to anal swabs.pic.twitter.com/PFyuZgJguS— Disclose.tv 🚨 (@disclosetv) January 29, 2021
The clip features a purported Chinese healthcare worker inserting a cotton swab inside the anus of a pyjama-wearing mannequin, placed in quite a compromising position with its legs and arms spread out to allow for a better take. The Chinese then gives the swab a little twist before taking it out and placing it in a sample tube.
The whole procedure does not take long, and is believed to show more accurate results in case the virus cannot be detected in respiratory tract but remains in the digestive tract or excrement.
It’s not immediately clear whether the video is an official demonstration of the procedure or just a possible reconstruction of the test, as its source remains unclear. According to social media, the anal swabs have now been extensively used in Chinese airports, and are even used on arriving foreigners.
Chine : Vidéo qui montre comment réaliser un test d'acide nucléique à partir d'un prise d'échantillons sur écouvillon anal.— Rebecca Rambar (@RebeccaRambar) January 29, 2021
Pékin testera les arrivées des étrangers avec cette méthode.https://t.co/JHpjfKO2i4 pic.twitter.com/oV1ulWeVXm
China's National Health Commission’s guidelines reveal that the anal swabs should be administered 3 to 5 centimetres inside the anus of the tested person with a saline soaked cotton smear.
The practice is not mandatory but has been used since last year across coronavirus hotspots around China and in major transportation hubs such as Shangai.
According to a Newsweek report citing a Chinese disease professional, Beijing has set a goal to eventually test all of its 21.5 million residents using all of the available methods. The anal swab is not an exception in this case.