Monkeys armed with blood samples from a person who had COVID-19 are on the loose after attacking a lab assistant and escaping with the vials.
The group of primates attacked a lab assistant in a lab near Meerut Medical College in Delhi, India and took COVID-19 blood test samples that had been taken from three patients before fleeing, according to reports.
One of the monkeys was later spotted in a tree chewing on one of the vials of blood.
Though some of the undamaged kits were recovered, the patients who gave test samples, had to have them retaken following the incident.
"They were still intact and we don't think there is any risk of contamination or spread,” Meerut medical college superintendent, Dheeraj Raj, told AFP.
Since India’s strict lockdown which was implemented in March, primates have been running loose around some of the country's major cities, including Delhi. It has been reported that the highly intelligent, red-faced rhesus macaques have been a strong presence in India’s major cities but since lockdown they have taken over.
Like many animals in major cities, they have adapted to live in close contact with humans, and it is believed some groups have struggled as supplies of human food they had come to rely on have dwindled.