LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Federal officials with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized what appeared to be fake coronavirus, or COVID-19, tests at Los Angeles International Airport, according to the agency.
CBP officers said they were examining a package arriving from the United Kingdom on March 12 at LAX when they found six bags containing vials that were filled with a white liquid and labeled “Corona Virus 2019nconv (COVID-19)” and “Virus1 Test Kit.”
The seized shipment of fake tests was turned over to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to CBP.
Authorized diagnostic testing for the virus is conducted in verified labs across the country.
Officials say they are working on increasing the amount of tests conducted in the U.S. The FDA recently authorized labs to test using a “high volume” system made by Swiss healthcare company Roche, which can process an increased amount of samples per day, according to a company press release, and return results in as little as three hours.
Dr., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said at a House meeting on Thursday that the current testing system “is not really geared to what we need right now.”
Hours later, he said in an exclusive interview with “CBS Evening News” anchor Norah O’Donnell that the system will be up-and-running “quite soon.”
President Donald Trump said the Roche system means up to half a million tests will be available by the end of next week.