A medical official was attacked by a troop of monkeys in India and they snatched away blood samples of patients who had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to authorities.
The attack was said to have occurred this week when a laboratory technician was walking in the campus of a state-run medical college in Meerut, 460 km (285 miles) north of Lucknow, capital of Uttar Pradesh State.
“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 the college said on Friday.
However, it remains unknown whether the monkeys had spilled the blood samples, but people living near the leafy campus feared further spread of the virus if the monkeys carried the samples into residential areas, according to authorities.
It remains unclear also if the monkeys could contract the coronavirus if they came into contact with infected blood.
“No evidence has been found that monkeys can contract the infection,” Garg told Reuters.
The virus is believed to have jumped from animals into people in a wildlife market in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019.
India has had 165,799 cases of the coronavirus and 4,706 deaths.
According to the report, Monkeys have been increasingly straying into human settlements in India and causing disturbances, even attacking people.