UK health authorities tell public to wash belongings after nerve agent attack
Police stand near a cordoned off Zizzi restaurant after traces of the nerve agent used against former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, have been found at the establishment in Salisbury, southern England, 11 March 2018. EPA-EPA/NEIL HALL
Police stand near The Mill pub which has been cordoned off in Salisbury, southern England, 11 March 2018, where former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, had a drink and after traces of the nerve agent used against have been found at the Zizzi restaurant. EPA-EFE/NEIL HALL
Police stand near a cordoned off area in Salisbury after traces of the nerve agent used against former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, have been found at the Zizzi restaurant in Salisbury, southern England, 11 March 2018. Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal were attacked with a nerve agent on 04 March 2018. EPA-EFE/NEIL HALL
London, Mar 11 (efe-epa).- The United Kingdom's government health agency on Sunday advised members of the public who had recently visited a pub and a restaurant in the southern city of Salisbury to wash their belongings, as an investigation into an alleged nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy and his daughter continued.
The advice applied to those who had been at The Mill pub on the afternoon of Mar. 4 or the nearby Zizzi restaurant on Mar. 4-5.
"While there is no immediate health risk to anyone who may have been in either of these locations, it is possible, but unlikely, that any of the substance which has come into contact with clothing or belongings could still be present in minute amounts and therefore contaminate your skin," a Public Health England statement said.
People who had been to either of the places were asked to wash any clothing that was worn on the dates concerned in a normal washing machine, as usual.
Anything that could not be washed or required dry-cleaning would need to be stored away in two plastic bags tied at the top, according to the advice, while authorities considered the "best way" to clean those items.
Other items, such as phones, needed to be cleaned with baby wipes, while the agency recommended that jewelry and glasses be washed by hand with regular detergent.
The warning was issued as a precautionary measure after ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found unconscious last Sunday after having been to both establishments.
The pair remained critically ill in hospital.
Epa images showed the restaurant was cordoned off on Sunday, while police officers stood outside both locations.
"Based on current evidence, the risk to the general public from this substance has not changed and remains low," the statement said.