Up to 500 diners that were near the Russian spy poisoning in Salisbury, UK, have been ordered to ‘wash all possessions’ after traces of the deadly nerve agent were discovered.
Trace amounts of the poisonous substance used in an assassination attempt against ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found at the Zizzi restaurant and Mill pub.
The chief medical officer for England, Professor Dame Sally Davies, said people who were in and around the area where the poisoning took place were “at risk.
“Those who may have visited either venue after 13:30 on Sunday have been advised to wash all possessions and clothing.
BBC reports: People who were at either venue before closure on Monday are advised to do the following:
Clothes should be washed, ideally in a washing machine
Clothes which cannot be washed, for example, if they need dry cleaning, should be double bagged in plastic until further notice
Mobile phones, handbags, and other electronic items should be wiped with baby wipes, which should be bagged in plastic and put in the bin
Other items such as jewelry and glasses should be washed with warm water and detergent.
Dame Sally said after “rigorous scientific analysis” there was some concern that prolonged exposure over weeks and months could cause health problems, but it was “not a subject for panic”.
She said the advice was a “belt and braces” measure, adding: “The risk to the public remains low and I am confident none of these customers or staff will have suffered harm.
“Mr. Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, are both critically ill in hospital after being found slumped on a bench in the city on Sunday.
The pub and restaurant are two of five sites in Salisbury focused on by investigators.
A 30-year-old man has been charged with breaching a cordon at one of the sites, The Maltings shopping area, on Friday night.
He was also charged with assaulting a police officer, criminal damage to a police vehicle, common assault and a racially aggravated public order offense, and is due before magistrates in Swindon on Monday.
Also, being investigated are Mr. Skripal’s home and the cemetery where Mr. Skripal’s wife and son are buried.
Soldiers are assisting police for a third day having previously helped with the removal of vehicles of interest including an ambulance.
More than 250 counter-terrorism police are now involved in the investigation, which has yielded 200 pieces of evidence so far and more than 240 witnesses.
Mr. Skripal, 66, was convicted by the Russian government of passing secrets to MI6 but given refuge in the UK in 2010 as part of a “spy swap”.
Russia has denied any involvement.
Marina Litvinenko, the widow of murdered former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko, said Mr. Skripal’s case needs to be properly investigated before blame can be apportioned but it would appear lessons from her husband’s death have not been learned.
After a public inquiry found her husband’s 2006 assassination was likely to have been ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s orders, Mrs. Litvinenko received a letter from Theresa May which said the government would “take every step to protect the UK and its people from such a crime ever being repeated”.
Mrs. Litvinenko told the BBC’s Andrew Marr: “Unfortunately it happened again, it means something was not done and a lesson was not learned.
“She also said Russia has a “bad reputation now” and no-one in the country had been punished for her husband’s death.
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