Medical officials at Meerut Medical College in India were left scratching their heads after a gang of monkeys reportedly attacked a laboratory worker and ran off with COVID-19 blood samples.
The monkeys disappeared into a nearby bush and were later spotted atop a tree chewing the kits used for collecting the samples from patients. Lab technicians were left with no choice but to collect fresh samples from the four patients.
“Monkeys grabbed and fled with the blood samples of four Covid-19 patients who are undergoing treatment … we had to take their blood samples again,” said Dr. S K Garg, a top official at Meerut Medical college in Uttar Pradesh state.
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Many of the locals expressed fear that the monkeys could spread coronavirus infections since they were carrying the collection kits to nearby residential areas.
According to the medical college’s superintendent, Dheeraj Raj, the sample boxes were later recovered and luckily, they had not been damaged.
“They were still intact and we don’t think there is any risk of contamination or spread,” Raj told The Times of India.
Africa Tembelea understands that since lockdown measures were imposed two months ago in the area, monkeys have been congregating in places that are normally crowded with humans. Some observers believe that many of the primates are struggling because the human food they normally consume has been severely reduced.
India has so far confirmed 174, 355 cases of coronavirus, 82, 804 recoveries and 4,982 fatalities.