Covid-19 biohazard warning as truck carrying coronavirus samples is HIJACKED in South Africa and specimens are now missing
- Truck transporting Covid-19 samples was hijacked in Port Elizabeth on Monday
- Local authorities have warned public not to touch the infectious samples
- They were being stored in 40-litre cooler boxes with ice tubes at time of incident
A courier truck carrying highly-infectious Covid-19 samples has been hijacked in South Africa.
The truck was transporting the specimens in Port Elizabeth in the country’s Eastern Cape Province when it was taken over by thieves at gunpoint on Monday.
The truck has since been recovered but the specimens are missing, according to local media reports.
A courier truck carrying highly-infectious Covid-19 samples has been hijacked in South Africa. File image of coronavirus samples pictured above
Local authorities have warned members of the public not to touch the samples, saying they could be highly infectious.
According to National Health Laboratory Services manager Tabita Makula, the samples were stored in 40-litre cooler boxes with ice tubes.
Port Elizabeth police spokesperson Colonel Priscila Naidu claimed the truck was hijacked outside a clinic in Motherwell at 15.30 pm on Monday afternoon.
Naidu said: ‘It is alleged that at about 15:30, a courier company was at the clinic parking area in NU11 when the driver and the passenger were held at gunpoint.
‘The unknown suspects demanded the keys of the vehicle and drove away. No shots [were] fired. The victims were also robbed of their personal belongings.’
She said the truck was later found abandoned 500 metres from the hijack scene but an unknown number of specimens were missing.
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