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Fake coronavirus test kits seized at Los Angeles airport

17:43 | 17/03/2020

Customs and Border Protection officers intercepted counterfeit COVID-19 testing kits at Los Angeles International Airport on March 12, 2020.

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fake coronavirus test kits seized at los angeles airport
Customs and Border Protection officers intercepted counterfeit COVID-19 testing kits at Los Angeles International Airport on March 12, 2020.

Officers with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized what appear to be fake novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, tests at the Los Angeles International Airport, the agency said Saturday.

The package had come from the United Kingdom on Thursday and contained various vials that manifested as pure water, but upon inspection contained white liquid and were labeled "Corona Virus 2019nconv (COVID-19)” and “Virus1 Test Kit," according to a statement from CBP.

The agency called it a "significant interception, at a time when the U.S. is in the midst of a National Emergency."

The seized shipment of fake tests was turned over to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to CBP.

Testing for novel coronavirus is limited in the U.S. and currently reserved for those who really need it, health officials told ABC News. More than 81 public health labs are online across all 50 states and conducting testing, according to the CDC.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, admitted Thursday the U.S. health system has struggled with getting testing up and running.

He added: "The idea of anybody getting a test easily the way people in other countries are doing it, we're not set up for that. Do I think we should be? Yes. We're not."

There are more than 155,000 confirmed cases of the virus in at least 140 countries, according to a case count by Johns Hopkins University. In the U.S., at least 56 people have died and more than 2,500 have been infected.

Theo abcnews.go.com