- Australians are being urged to stop trying to import COVID-19 home testing kits.
- At least three large consignments have been intercepted in the last two weeks by the Australian Border Force (ABF)
- Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton warned "inaccurate results could prevent people from seeking the medical help they need".
- Visit Business Insider Australia's homepage for more stories.
Australians desperate to test themselves for COVID-19 are resorting to suspect home testing kits.
The Australian Border Force (ABF) confirmed on Sunday that it has stopped a number of tests that from entering the country, with Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton warning the results were unreliable and could undermine national containment efforts.
"Inaccurate results could prevent people from seeking the medical help they need, or alternatively, discourage people who should be self-isolating from doing so," Dutton said in a statement issued to media.
"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."
The ABF revealed that a single shipment of 200 such kits, transported from China via Singapore, had been intercepted in Perth two weeks ago. Since then two other consignments from Hong Kong have been confiscated in Melbourne and Perth.
Home-testing kits have not been approved by the national regulator, the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), which is responsible for officiating over the reliability and safety of health products and medicines.
Dutton emphasised the only approved diagnostic tools remain laboratory tests and those issued by doctors and frontline healthcare staff in health clinics and hospitals.
According to government statistics, nearly 300,000 official tests have been conducted Australia-wide, with just 5,635 cases confirmed as of Sunday.