Gang of rampaging monkeys spark coronavirus panic after stealing infected blood samples from lab in India

A GANG of monkeys sparked panic when they attacked a laboratory assistant in India and escaped with a batch of coronavirus blood test samples.

The brazen troop of primates launched their assault near Meerut Medical College in Delhi where they snatched the samples that been from three patients before fleeing on Thursday.

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One of the monkeys was later seen chewing on one of collection kits, The Times of India reported.

Dheeraj Raj, the Meerut medical college superintendent, said the kits were later recovered undamaged.

The monkeys had chewed the packets before tossing them.

He added: "They were still intact and we don't think there is any risk of contamination or spread."

He stressed that no individual came into contact with the samples and that hospital authorities have sanitised the area and disposed of the samples.

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."

He added: "No evidence has been found that monkeys can contract the infection."

New test samples were taken from the patients, according to local news.

The district administration has ordered an inquiry against the hospital authorities for alleged mishandling of the samples.

The total number of coronavirus cases in the country as of Friday stands at 165,799, including 4,706 deaths, according to India's health ministry.


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