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Customs Catches Fake Testing Kits

Customs officials seized half a dozen bags of counterfeit testing kits for SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, at Los Angeles International Airport, Business Insider reports.

According to US Customs and Border Protection, its officers intercepted six bags of vials filled with a white liquid and labeled: "Corona Virus 2019nconv (COVID-19)" and "Virus1 Test Kit." The officers uncovered the vials while examining packages whose manifests said they contained "Purified Water Vials" worth $196.81. The agency adds that it turned the vials over to the Food and Drug Administration for testing.

"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," Carlos Martel, CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles, says in a statement.

Testing for the virus in the US has been slow to ramp up as there were problems with the testing kit from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency has since fixed the reagent issue with its kit and the FDA has allowed high-complexity CLIA-certified labs to use tests they've developed for SARS-CoV-2 while they seek emergency use authorization.