Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has urged Australians to stay clear of imported COVID-19 home test kits, saying that they could give inaccurate results and pose a risk to public health.

Per reports in The Guardian, Australian Border Force officers have intercepted a number of home test kits in the past several weeks, which had been purchased from overseas suppliers.

One shipment containing 200 kits was intercepted in Perth on March 16, having come from China via Singapore. Further shipments arrived in Perth and Melbourne in subsequent weeks.

In a statement today, Peter Dutton said that the kits should not be used as they could provide false results, and disrupt the work currently being done to contain COVID-19:

“Inaccurate results could prevent people from seeking the medical help they need, or alternatively, discourage people who should be self-isolating from doing so.”

He added:

“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 only approved COVID-19 tests in Australia are laboratory-based tests, and those that can be administered by health professionals at the point of care.

On March 13, Peter Dutton released a statement saying he had tested positive for COVID-19.

He was admitted to hospital after his diagnosis, but was later sent home to recover in isolation.

If you think you may have coronavirus, either call your doctor (DON’T visit) or contact the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. If you’re struggling to breathe or experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.

And please remember to wash your hands frequently (for at least 20 seconds) and keep at least 1.5 metres between you and those around you.

Image: Getty Images / Tracey Nearmy