I’ve got bad news about that trip to China you’ve planned.
Sure — eating your favorite cuisine in its country of origin sounds delicious.
But if you’re psyched to land in Beijing and get a pot sticker from the source: You know where you sit on the pot? Well, get ready for a sticker.
Hopefully, it doesn’t leave sores.
That’s right: Travelers to the Red Dragon can now be forcibly tested for COVID — with an anal swab.
China rolled out the tookus test in January, and now…it’s spreading.
The London Times reports:
China has made anal swab tests for the coronavirus mandatory for almost all international arrivals, deepening a row with other countries over a practice many have described as humiliating.
Surely some of that many are those performing the tests.
The Japanese government has already raised concern about its citizens being subjected to the “undignified” procedure while American diplomats have also complained. Katsunobu Kato, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, said it would ask China to alter its testing regimen after some Japanese travelers reported suffering ‘psychological pain’ from the invasive procedure.
As noted by Vice News, it isn’t just Americans and the Japanese who find the probe problematic.
Germany has joined Japan and the United States in protesting China’s use of anal COVID-19 tests on foreign visitors, citing complaints from German citizens about the “tightened procedures.”
“We have repeatedly raised that issue vis-à-vis the Chinese government, especially with regard to the medical tests and examinations that are taking place against the will of the persons concerned,” a source from the German Foreign Office told VICE World News.
Per Vice, those living in China are none too pumped as well:
Chinese people…have protested these invasive tests, likening the experience to having diarrhea. In a poll on Chinese social media platform Weibo, 80 percent of respondents said they “could not accept” the examinations.
Will the policy get nipped in the bud?
As indicated above, those in the Land of the Rising sun don’t want anything to rise and land where the sun don’t shine. Apropos, on Wednesday, a spokesperson for the Japanese government said they hadn’t yet received a Chinese response.
Meanwhile, folks flying from South Korea have a less invasive option:
[T]ravelers can now submit stool samples instead of “Chinese authorities taking them directly,” Choi Young-sam, spokesman of the South Korean foreign ministry, said on Tuesday.
As for the sticking point, according to the Daily Mail, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin defended the surly swabs.
To hear Wang tell it, they’re “science-based.” Moreover, the tests are “in accordance with the changes in the epidemic situation as well as relevant laws and regulations.”
And why that particular route to your biological secrets?
Doctors have told state media that the tests can prevent infections from being missed because traces are detectable there for longer than in the respiratory tract.
Back to the beginning of this article, if you’re willing to get bung-plowed for authentic Kung Pao, cross your fingers — the National Post indicates the possibility of a do-it-yourselfer:
“Some [Chinese passengers] arriving into Beijing are being asked to undertake anal swabs…with one traveler who came from Hong Kong a few weeks ago telling Bloomberg News she was told to do the swab herself while in mandatory hotel quarantine.”
Safe travels, and good luck.
And in case of that do-it-yourself thing, while you’re waiting to fly…maybe brush up on your chopstick skills.
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