“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.”
As reported by the authorities, a troop of monkeys attacked a health official in India and snatched away the blood samples of patients who tested positive for the virus. The attack happened when the responsible laboratory technician was walking on the campus of a state-run medical college in Meerut, 460 km 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.
The authorities say that it is not clear that if the monkeys spilled the blood or not but it is feared that there could be a spread of the virus if they take the samples to the residential areas.
Garg said it was not clear 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.
India has had 165,799 cases of the coronavirus and 4,706 deaths.
It was commonly reported that the virus transferred from animals to humans in a wildlife market in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.
The straying of monkeys into residential areas in India is very common. Most of the times these animals come to the human population in search of food. According to the environmentalists, the destruction of natural habitat is the main reason the animals move into urban areas in search of food.