A monkey stole positive Covid-19 blood samples after attacking lab worker
It's monkey mahem for an unfortunate lab technician in India. A group of monkeys in India stole blood samples from coronavirus patients from a local medical college in Meerut, North India. Now, fears are that will result in the spread of the birus in the neighbouring areas.
The robbed lab technician took video with his phone of the incident. After snatching the samples and other medical items, the video shows the animal gnawing on what look like surgical gloves, Indian news outlet NDTV reported.
"These were not COVID test samples, but blood samples from COVID patients meant for routine tests. The man from whom the samples were snatched said fresh samples have been collected," Dr SK Garg, principal of Meerut Medical College and Hospital, said.
#WATCH | A monkey snatched away blood samples which were suspected to be of #COVID19 patients. The incident was reported from Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut. The video of the incident went viral on social media. pic.twitter.com/jIYk55FWjQ— Hindustan Times (@htTweets) May 29, 2020
Many are now worries that the incident could increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission — first to other monkeys and then to humans, India Today reported. Earlier this year in April, five tigers and three lions at the Bronx Zoo in New York City tested positive for the coronavirus after they were infected by an asymptomatic staff person at the zoo.
However, AFP reports that, officials were able to recover the sample boxes after the monkeys took them up some nearby trees. Superintendent Dheeraj Raj said the samples were still intact and officials do not believe there is an increased risk of contamination or spread.
India is also currently dealing with a mass locust infestation which has put many farmers' livlihoods at risk.