(Photo : REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson)
Medical director of infection prevention and employee health Dr. Seth Cohen shows a sample test kit at a drive-through clinic for coronavirus, flu and RSV, currently by appointment for employees at UW Medical Center Northwest in Seattle, Washington, U.S. March 9, 2020.

Fake COVID-19 testing kits were intercepted by officers of the United States Customs and Boarder Protection at the Los Angeles international Airport, Sunday.

According to the CBP, the parcel which was said to have come from the United Kingdom last Thursday contained vials that were declared in customs as pure water. However, upon inspection, the vials contained white liquid which was labeled, "Virus1 Test Kit" and "Corona Virus 2019nconv (COVID-19)."

The agency referred to the interception as significant in a period when the country is in the middle of facing a National Emergency. The confiscated fake test kits from the shipment were then immediately turned over to the Food and Drug Administration for analysis.

The agency gave no further information about the seized shipment after they were turned over to the FDA.

COVID-19 Testing in the US

Since there is a limited availability of testing for coronavirus in the US, health officials said that it is currently being reserved for those who are in dire need.

However, testing for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus is only being conducted in verified local and state public laboratories in the country. As of the moment, there are already more than 81 public health laboratories across all 50 states in the US that are online and are conducting COVID-19 testing.

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Last Friday, US President Donald Trump placed the country under national emergency and then laid out the plans and new strategies in coronavirus testing and detection. This is after the collective complaint of health care professionals, politicians, and patients about the lack of accessibility to testing across the country. However, there is still public confusion on who should be undergoing the tests and how they can get checked for the disease.

The head of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, admitted last Thursday that the health care system of the US has and is still struggling to get the testing up to and running.

Stanford warns about COVID-19 "self test"

Claims that there is a way to self-test for the coronavirus which involves holding one's breath went viral in social media and has also shown up in emails. The said "self-test" posts and email were claimed to have come from Stanford University.

On Friday, the university cleared it out and said that it has nothing to do with the bogus breathing test that claims to be an indicator if one has coronavirus. The university tweeted that the misinformation about the said treatments and COVID-19 symptoms are falsely attributed to them.

The said "self-test" instructs that one should take a deep breath and try to hold it for more than 10 seconds. It claims that if one is successful in doing such without feeling any discomfort, stuffiness or tightness, it is an indication that there is no fibrosis in the lungs and that basically means the absence of infection.

As of the moment, there are already more than 170,200 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 6,500 deaths across 140 countries and territories worldwide. While in the US there are at least 56 people who hve died and more than 2,500 have fallen ill from the virus.

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