On July 5, 2018, two British citizens fell severely ill as a result of Novichok agent and remained hospitalized. The two were found near Salisbury where an attempted assassination occurred.
Ex-Russian spy, Skripal, and his daughter, Yulia was seen slumped on a bench because of the agent last March 2018. Fortunately, the two Russians were discharged after three months despite the medical staff’s presumption of their slim chance of survival.
Novichok is an agent that blocks the transmission of messages from the nerves to the muscles which result in the collapse of bodily functions. It was developed between 1971 and 1993 by the Soviet Union and Russia.
The agent is claimed to be the deadliest nerve agents ever created. It will only take effect once it is ingested, inhaled or has successfully penetrated the skin. Therefore, a close physical administration is needed once it penetrates the body.
It was claimed that it is the same nerve agent used against Skripal and his daughter Yulia, in a suspected Russian-backed assassination attempt. However, scientists are still testing whether or not the agent is the same batch of substance that hit both the affected parties.
The Chief Medical Officer of England states that the risk of the public catching the agent is low, but the event would still instill fear within individuals.
On the other hand, the UK government held Russia responsible for the previous assassination attempt. But, the latter continuously denies involvement.
The UK counter-terrorism police have now started an investigation on how the incident happened. The couple may have come across the nerve agent in a park or a house, but it is still unsure how the two Britons were exposed to the agent. The UK government has called for an emergency meeting on Thursday to talk about the matter.