May 29 (UPI) --
A group of monkeys attacked a laboratory assistant in India and ran off with three coronavirus blood test samples taken from patients, authorities said.
Local authorities said the lab technician was carrying three blood test samples for COVID-19 testing at Meerut Medical College, in Uttar Pradesh, when he was attacked by a troop of monkeys that quickly fled with the samples.
One of the monkeys later was caught on video chewing on one of the stolen samples while sitting in a tree.
Officials at the medical college said new blood samples were taken from the patients so testing could be completed.
Medical experts have raised fears that the monkeys could cause the virus to spread more quickly if it is determined that the patients who were being tested were infected with COVID-19.