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COVID-19 swab tests are packed in unhygienic conditions in Thane slums in Maharashtra.

Police were informed that households in Ulhasnagar were seen packing swab sticks used to test for COVID-19 in unhygienic conditions.

A video circulating online shows swab sticks being packed at a slum in the Thane district under unhygienic conditions. These plastic sticks are used to collect nasal or throat samples for the RT-PCR testing of COVID-19 patients. These medical items need to be packed in a sterile environment.

Soon after the video became popular online, the local police and Municipal Corporation (UMC) in Ulhasnagar raided 10 houses and seized the leftover stock of the swab sticks. The swab materials were distributed by a local supplier named Manish Keshwani. The authorities seized the raw materials and booked the contractor under IPC and Epidemic Diseases Act.

FDA officials said the packed kits have 'Bio-swab' written on them without batch numbers or expiry dates and confirmed that they had not approved their manufacture.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19 including symptoms, prevention and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organisation or your national healthcare authority.

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