Coronavirus in India surpasses 173,000 cases and the government has started mass testing of the common public. However, recently a group of monkeys has attacked a lab assistant who was carrying the coronavirus samples. Reportedly, the monkeys ran away with COVID-19 sample kits.
This unusual incident happened in Delhi, near Meerut Medical College where a number of people witnessed monkeys chewing coronavirus test kits. The local media reported that monkeys allegedly attacked a lab assistant who was transporting the samples of three coronavirus patients and ran away.
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One monkey was seen on a nearby tree and it was chewing the test kits of COVID-19 patients. Not only this incident has discarded the samples taken from the patients but also raised a new question, what if the monkeys got coronavirus too?
As to the samples, all three patients would be tested again. But the answer to the latter question is still unknown.
But the superintendent of Meerut medical college, Mr. Dheeraj Raj told the local media that he has recovered the undamaged testing kits. These kits were not torn or chewed so probably they are not contaminated.
Coronavirus in India is slowly taking over all main cities as the cases are increasing every day. But this is one of its types of incidents where monkeys, often called as highly intelligent animals tried to take advantage of the situation.
The presence of monkeys especially in the urban areas was much lesser butt he recent coronavirus lockdown has caused an increase again. Despite having religious and cultural value, monkeys in urban areas are rather associated with a number of bizarre incidents as reported in this news.
The local channels have reported a high increase in monkeys’ populations even in the most crowded areas.
Generally, monkeys like to live around humans and they often try to snatch things especially the food items from humans. Experts have advised people for not interacting with animals like monkeys during the coronavirus pandemic as it might help the virus to mutate.
The researches have warned that if coronavirus in India mutated, this new virus would be even more deadly for humans, primates as well as animals that eat these primates.
The real problem is that there is very little information available on coronavirus. While there is nothing confirmed on where did coronavirus come from and how did it jump to humans from bats, the only thing that could help is to limit its mutation. The real answer to all these questions would be only provided with more extensive research which of-course would take years.
There were previous cases of these primates causing problematic situations in Delhi such as snatching the mobile phone, stealing food or clothes, entering inside the houses and scaring people, etc. Ever since the coronavirus in India took a rush, the monkeys have surrounded all public, but vacant places. Right now they could be easily spotted around the parliament house and ministries even around the prime minister house.
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The only way to prevent such incidences in future is to control the monkey population, especially around highly populated areas. There is no evidence on coronavirus in monkeys; making a statement on primates’s safety would require complete scientific evidence which is probably too far right now.