June 01, 2020
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Fake coronavirus testing kits seized at Los Angeles airport

U.S. Customs and Border Protection | AP
U.S. Customs and Border Protection | AP
In this Thursday, March 12, 2020, photo released by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), shows a package containing suspected counterfeit COVID-19 test kits arriving from the United Kingdom. CBP officers discovered six plastic bags containing various vials, while conducting an enforcement examination of a parcel manifested as "Purified Water Vials" with a declared value of $196.81. A complete examination of the shipment, led to the finding of vials filled with a white liquid and labeled "Corona Virus 2019nconv (COVID-19)" and "Virus1 Test Kit". The shipment was turned over to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for analysis.

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LOS ANGELES — Federal authorities warned consumers Saturday about fake home-testing kits for the coronavirus after customs agents intercepted a package at Los Angeles International Airport filled with vials labeled as COVID-19 test kits.

The parcel arriving from the United Kingdom this week was declared as purified water vials valued at nearly $200. But when U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspected it they discovered the labels referring to the new virus that began in China and has spread globally.

“The American public should be aware of bogus home testing kits for sale either online or in informal direct to consumer settings,” the agency said in a statement Saturday.

[Read our full coronavirus coverage here]

Testing for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, is only conducted in verified state and local public laboratories across the country. On Friday, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency and laid out new testing strategies after health care professionals, politicians and patients across the country complained about lack of access to testing.

However, public confusion persisted over who should be tested and how to get checked for the disease.

No further details, including any arrest connected to the intercepted package, were released. The vials were turned over to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for analysis.

 


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