China has just become the first nation in the world to make anal swab tests for the coronavirus mandatory for all international arrivals. This move will impact all missionaries traveling to China this year. Missionaries are not being singled out by China for the test, but the new exam will be required by everyone, including missionaries. Special testing hubs have been set up inside of airports in China for new international arrivals.
Some countries are currently protesting the measure, calling it humiliating. American diplomats protested being subjected to the test last month and it was admitted that the test was given in error to the American State Department representatives. The government of Japan is raising serious concerns about its citizens being subjected to the “undignified” procedure. Katsunobu Kato, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, said Japan is asking China to change its testing procedures after some Japanese travelers reported suffering “psychological pain” from the extremely invasive procedure.
China is defending the practice against the critics saying that they are merely “following the science”, citing that anal swabs are scientifically more accurate because they detect traces of the virus in fecal matter which can be missed by testing mucus or saliva.
BTJ will monitor the situation as a number of missionaries return back to China this month and next month.