A large nasopharyngeal swab or culture inserted deep inside the throat or the nose to collect sample of secretions from the uppermost cavity behind the nose, twirling at times to get a good sample, we are aware that it does hurt you and make you feel uncomfortable.
But if you really think that this kind of sampling procedure used to test the presence of coronavirus is very painful then think again. Because China has found a unique method, which it claims to be "more effective" in detecting the virus than testing nasal and throat swabs. China is collecting anal swabs – yes, you read that right – particularly, of those who are considered to be at high risk of contracting the infection.
How effective it is?
These anal swab tests have reportedly been conducted on residents in China's northeast province, where there has been a surge in Covid-19 cases, as well as those in quarantine facilities. According to the Global Times factsheet, the country has recorded over 89,000 coronavirus cases and 4,600 deaths so far.
According to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, this test involves the insertion of a saline-soaked cotton swab about three to five centimeters into the anus to get the sample which is then tested for active traces of the coronavirus.
A group of Chinese scientists who have reportedly supported the new testing technique say that the traces of the coronavirus residing in the anus can last longer than in the respiratory tract, local media reports have stated.
However, it should be noted that there is no proper research so far to support this theory. On the other hand, social media users have been rolling out on the floor laughing loud and making fun of the unique procedure.
China cannot be taken seriously
The entire world is a testimony to the fact that China can never be taken seriously in matters related to the coronavirus.
Almost 20 years ago, the country, in a similar manner, had hid information related to the SARS outbreak that killed hundreds. Now, at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has ravaged the world and infected over 100 million people, China has been spinning a web of lies and deceit regarding its origins and putting the blame on others for its massive spread across the globe.
Revealed documents from the country, last year, provided an insight into how China mishandled the situation in the early days of the pandemic by releasing a misleading public data and an almost three-week delay in publishing test results. The 117 pages of internal documents from the Hubei Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were leaked by a whistleblower and obtained by the CNN.
In addition, the Chinese Communist Party has also strained its bilateral relations with several countries, including Australia, with it shared good trade relations, over sending a World Health Organization-led team investigating the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Clamp down before Chinese New Year
The new protocol comes just days ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year, to be celebrated next month, as China prepares to control the further spread of Covid-19 during the world's largest annual migration - an event which witnesses millions of people travel thousands of miles across the country to reach home at this time of the year.
According to the Post, nearly 3 billion trips are made over the holiday season during normal years, which means even a single coronavirus case could rapidly lead to hundreds across the nation.
China's local media reports have stated that being a pandemic year, the country, this time, seeks to vaccinate at least 50 million people before the holiday begins. But unfortunately, the data is even less than 4 per cent of its total population, far too low a rate to prevent mass transmission.