Novel Coronavirus samples rather than gold jewelry were looted in an unusual road robbery in South Africa.
The case took place near a hospital in The city of Mandela in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province, Russia Today television reported Tuesday.
The van carrying the virus samples had just set off when it was attacked by armed robbers.
After looting the personal belongings of drivers and passengers, they drove off in their vans.
According to the parties, the truck was carrying a large number of novel Coronavirus samples which were placed in a 40-liter freezer.
Shortly after the incident, the van hijacked by the robbers was recovered, but the cold box was no longer visible.
The South African National Health Laboratory has issued an urgent “biohazard alert”, warning that missing samples “could easily be infected with coronavirus” and urging people to call the police immediately if they find the white cold box.
More worryingly, the local police have very few clues about the robbery and do not even know how many people were involved.
Health authorities are also unable to determine the exact number of virus samples lost.