The national department of health said the Covid-19 test samples found dumped on the side of the N2 highway near Mdantsane in East London belonged National Health Laboratory Services (NHLS).
The samples were discovered by a jogger on Monday morning, 29 June.
In a statement on Tuesday, the national department of health noted with concern reports circulating social media about the incident, describing it as "dangerous for public health".
"The inappropriate dumping of medical waste is dangerous for public health. It can lead to infectious diseases," the department said.
Dumped Covid-19 test kits found in the Eastern Cape. Picture: Facebook
The national health said it was working together with the Eastern Cape health department and NHLS to find out how the medical waste ended up where it was found.
"The medical waste has been identified as the property of the National Health Laboratory Services. What is worrisome is that this was not just medical waste, but specimens, and these specimens have identity numbers and contact details of individuals.
"The courier company that was contracted must be traced and provide answers as to what happened to get to the bottom of this situation.
"In our view, this is an intentional criminal act which must be condemned strongly. It is a violation of people's rights and dignity when the test kits containing their personal information are found next to the road.
"We are hopeful that an investigation will be done and those found responsible for this be held accountable," the national department added.
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