Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton is urging Australians to be wary of dodgy ‘home’ COVID-19 tests kits that could pose a serious risk to public health.
A number of these faulty kits originating in China and Hong Kong have been intercepted by Australian Border Force officers in recent weeks.
He warned using these kits would undermine the vital, lifesaving work of health professionals.
“Inaccurate results could prevent people from seeking the medical help they need, or alternatively, discourage people who should be self-isolating from doing so,” Mr Dutton said in a statement on Sunday.
He said the Therapeutic Goods Administration has ruled the tests kits as unapproved medical devices.
“Our ABF officers at the border are on alert for any unauthorised or homemade COVID-19 products and they will continue working day and night to ensure these dangerous goods don’t make it into Australian households and communities,” Mr Dutton said.
The ABF intercepted a consignment of 200 units that originated from China and arrived in Perth as air cargo via Singapore on March 16. Similar detections have now been made in Perth (50 units) on March 23 and Melbourne (39 units) on March 27, both originating in Hong Kong.
Mr Dutton said the only approved tests for COVID-19 in Australia are laboratory based tests or tests that can be used by health professionals at the point of care such as in hospitals or clinics.