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Marauding monkeys make off with coronavirus vials in India

The patients had to be tested again.

COVID-19 blood test
Three COVID-19 blood test samples were stolen by a monkey in India.
Sergei Karpukhin\Getty Images
For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO and CDC websites.

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 coronavirus 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.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.