Fake COVID-19 testing kits intercepted at LA airport

US customs seized six bags containing suspected counterfeit coronavirus test kits arriving from the UK at Los Angeles International Airport.

According to a statement from Customs and Border Protection (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.”

After examining the shipment, the CBP found “vials filled with a white liquid and labelled ‘Corona Virus 2019nconv (COVID-19)’ and ‘Virus1 Test Kit’,” added the agency. The shipment – intercepted at the International Mail Facility at LAXS – has been turned over to the FDA for analysis.

The seizure comes after the US government acknowledged that the country does not have enough coronavirus test kits to meet its needs as cases of COVID-19 escalate. The latest figures from the World Health Organization (WHO) put the number of confirmed cases in the US at 1,678, with 41 deaths.

Authorised diagnostic testing for COVID-19 is conducted in verified state and local public health laboratories across the US, according to CBP.

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

Last week, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency and laid out new testing strategies amid complaints of a lack of access to testing among healthcare professionals. The federal government has approved emergency access to testing kit developed by Roche.

Vice President Mike Pence said that around 1.5m tests would be available soon, but there are reports that so far less than 14,000 tests have been conducted nationally - less than the number currently being carried out in South Korea each day.

Earlier this month online retailer Amazon said it had removed more than a million products – including diagnostics – that were being sold with false claims related to the virus.

Meanwhile, the FDA and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have issued warning letters to seven companies selling products that claim to prevent, treat or cure COVID-19.

Related articles:

     Want our news sent directly to your inbox?

Yes please 2


Home  |  About us  |  Contact us  |  Advertise  |  Links  |  Partners  |  Privacy Policy  |   |  RSS feed   |  back to top