CHINA has introduced a brand new type of coronavirus test - using anal swabs - as the country grapples with a surge of infection.
The method can supposedly identify the virus with greater accuracy, and is considered something of a game-changer for 'high-risk' patients.
The test reportedly involves inserting a cotton-tipped swab about 1-2 inches into the rectum, which is then sealed in a plastic container and tested for the virus, much like a nasal swab would be.
According to reports, over a million residents in Beijing have already taken the anal swab tests as part of the screening process.
Infectious disease specialist, Li Tongzeng, from the You'an Hospital, told local broadcaster CCTV that anal swabs are more accurate and "reduce the return of false positives".
"Of course, anal swabs aren't as convenient as throat swabs, so they're only being used on individuals in key quarantine areas," he added.
With Chinese New Year celebrations on the horizon, it's become more important than ever for Beijing to ensure their testing systems are as fluid as possible ... no, not that type of fluid.
The festive season is the busiest time of the year in China and health authorities have said they were aiming to screen more than two million people in 48 hours using antibody tests and throat, nasal and anal swab tests.
It's thought that allowing the Lunar festival celebrations to go ahead in February last year was one of the key reasons coronavirus spread so rapidly throughout China in early 2020.