Lucknow, India: A troop of monkeys reportedly attacked a medical official and stole the blood samples of coronavirus patients that had tested positive for the coronavirus.
The news was confirmed by the authorities of Lucknow on Friday last week.
The attack occurred this week when a laboratory technician was walking on the campus of a state-run medical college in Meerut, which is around 460 kilometers away from Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, a state in India.
Dr. S.K. Garg, a top official at the college, said:
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.
Authorities said they were not clear if the monkeys had spilled the blood samples that they managed to get from the official.
People that are living near the campus are scared of catching the disease because the monkeys are known to roam the residential areas.
Garg said that it is still not clear if the monkeys could contract the novel coronavirus if they accidentally get in contact with the blood of the infected patients.
During an interview with the Reuters, Garg said:
No evidence has been found that monkeys can contract the infection.
The virus is believed to have jumped from animals into people in a wildlife market in the Chinese city of Wuhan last year.
As of writing this article, India has over 198,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus.