COVID-19: Japan asks China to stop anal swab tests on its citizens

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Representative image
Representative image

Tokyo [Japan], March 2 (ANI): Expressing concerns over the coronavirus testing methods, Japan has requested China not to subject Japanese citizens to anal COVID-19 tests after receiving complaints of "psychological distress" from some of them.

Addressing a press conference on Monday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said Tokyo has made the request through the Japanese Embassy in Beijing, although it has not been informed of any change in China's policy on how it conducts the polymerase chain reaction tests for the coronavirus.

This comes after several Japanese employees in Beijing rebuked China's carrying out anal swabs tests, which they consider a violation of their human rights and dignity, Kyodo News reported.

Kato said the Japanese government will continue to urge China to exempt its citizens from such a test method, which is used on some of those quarantined or entering China, noting it "has not been confirmed anywhere else in the world."

Earlier, the United States had protested with China after learning some US officials were subjected to the anal swab COVID-19 tests.

"The State Department never agreed to this kind of testing and protested directly to [China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs] when we learned that some staff were subject to it," a state department spokesperson told CNN in a statement last week.

Responding to the reports on controversial testing methods, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Monday that China has adjusted anti-epidemic measures "in a scientific manner" in accordance with "relevant laws and regulations."

Japan has so far 432,771 COVID-19 cases and 7,940 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University's data. (ANI)