Customs officers at the Los Angeles International Airport seized six bags full of what appeared to be counterfeit coronavirus testing kits, the Customs and Border Protection agency announced Saturday.
The plastic bags were filled with small bottles labeled “Corona Virus 2019nconv (COVID-19)” and “Virus1 Test Kit,” the agency said in a statement.
The bags, contained in a package labeled “Purified Water Vials,” arrived March 12 as part of a shipment from the United Kingdom.
Coronavirus tests are in short supply amid an outbreak sweeping the country, and are currently only being conducted by public health laboratories or commercial laboratories with authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration.
“This significant interception, at a time when the US is in the midst of a National Emergency, demonstrates our CBP officers’ vigilance and commitment to ensure dangerous goods are intercepted and not a threat to our communities and our people,” CBP’s director of field operations in Los Angeles, said in a statement.
As of Saturday night, 52 people in the US had died from the coronavirus and more than 2,500 people had tested positive — but there are likely far more undiagnosed cases in the country due to the testing shortage.
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