Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

British Novichok survivor Charlie Rowley regains consciousness: Salisbury District Hospital

British Novichok survivor Charlie Rowley regains consciousness: Salisbury District Hospital

"We have seen a small but significant improvement in the condition of Charlie Rowley", said Lorna Wilkinson, Director of Nursing at Salisbury District Hospital.

The statement continued: "Our thoughts and prayers also go out to Charlie and his family and we wish Charlie a speedy recovery. Charlie is still very unwell and will continue to require specialist, round-the-clock care here at Salisbury District Hospital", the statement said.

Dawn Sturgess (left), 44, died after exposure to Novichok nerve agent, while partner Charlie Rowley, 45, is conscious and in critical but stable condition in hospital.

Sturgess and Rowley fell ill four months after novichok was used to try and assassinate former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, after it was smeared on the door of their Salisbury home.

It is implausible that the two Novichok poisonings are not linked, according to the head of United Kingdom counter-terrorism policing.

However, chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies has warned everyone in the area not to pick up "any foreign object which could contain liquid or gel, in the interests of their own safety".

Basu, head of Scotland Yard's counter-terror division, said it was "implausible" to rule out any link between the two nerve agent incidents given their proximity.

Last week, Sturgess and Rowley were found collapsed at a residential building in Amesbury, Wiltshire, just eight miles north of Salisbury, where the Skripals were poisoned.

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"That is something that I think the world will unite with us in actually condemning".

Searches have taken place in Amesbury, where the pair fell ill, and in Salisbury where Ms Sturgess lived.

Police believe they touched a contaminated item that has not been found. "We will not be providing further commentary around our contact with Charlie".

Basu said that officers have not identified those responsible for the attack and can not guarantee that there are no traces of Novichok in the country.

"Police and security officials are working urgently to establish the facts of this incident, which is now being investigated as a murder", she said. She had two sons, aged 19 and 23, and an 11-year-old daughter.

Forensic investigators wearing protective suits emerge from the rear of John Baker House in Amesbury, Britain, July 6, 2018. Following tests, no traces of the nerve agent have been identified on the bus.

Basu also gave more detail on the attack on the Skripals.

How badly affected people are varies greatly - for example, some people are able to break down the chemicals three times as fast as others. "If it's in an enclosed container, it takes a long time before it becomes inactive", he said.

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