A group of monkeys stole three COVID-19 blood test samples from an Indian health care worker at a local medical college in Meerut, according to reports Friday. After stealing the samples in Uttar Pradesh, the monkeys escaped to trees and chewed on the test kits. The kits were later recovered, according to AFP.
"Monkeys grabbed and fled with the blood samples of four COVID-19 patients who are undergoing treatment," S.K. Garg, an official at Meerut Medical College, told Reuters. "We had to take their blood samples again."
A local journalist with Times Now tweeted a video of a monkey making off with the test samples. It's uncertain whether the samples spilled, according to Reuters, though Garg said they were blood samples, not coronavirus swab tests.
There's no evidence yet as to whether monkeys can contract COVID-19, CNET sister site CBS News reported, though macaques are being used to trial vaccines.
India currently has 173,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and almost 5,000 deaths, according to tracking numbers from John Hopkins University.
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