Japan Asks China to Reconsider Anal Collection Method for PCR Tests

BEIJING — The Japanese Embassy in China has asked Beijing to reconsider its method of collecting PCR test samples from the anus of some visitors, a Japanese government official revealed.

China mandates PCR tests upon entry into the country. Samples previously have been taken from the nose and throat. However, testing using the anus began at several immigration points in early January, according to Chinese media and other sources.

The Japanese Embassy in Beijing said it asked the Chinese Foreign Ministry to review the method because of its heavy physical and psychological burdens and after having received complaints from Japanese and others entering China.

CNN has reported that the U.S. State Department lodged a complaint against China, saying U.S. diplomats were subject to this collection method.

Chinese media outlets have reported that samples taken from the anus show a longer period of positivity than those collected from the nose and throat, which can reduce the chance of not detecting infections.