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Hospital: British Police Officer To Undergo Tests Over Novichok Concerns


A British police officer on July 5 stands in front of screening erected in Amesbury, Britain, as forensic tents are erected after officials said it was confirmed that two people were poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok.

A hospital in the British town of Salisbury says a police officer has sought medical advice in connection with what authorities say was the exposure of two people to the same nerve agent used in the poisoning of Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

A spokesperson for the Salisbury District Hospital said on July 7 that the officer is being taken to that facility for tests in connection "with the ongoing incident in Amesbury," a reference to what officials say was the exposure of a British couple a week earlier to the nerve agent Novichok.

"There is nothing to suggest there is any wider risk to anyone at the hospital," the spokesperson said in the statement, which was released by Wiltshire Police.

Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were found collapsed in Salisbury -- some 10 kilometers from Amesbury -- in March after what authorities say was a poisoning by Novichok.

The Skripals ultimately survived the poisoning and were later discharged from the hospital after what medics and officials say was an intensive battle to save their lives.

British officials have blamed Russia for the poisoning, a charge the Kremlin denies.

On July 4, Britain's counterterrorism chief said that a man and woman -- both British and in their 40s – were found to have been exposed to Novichok.

The couple -- Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley -- were found unconscious and in critical condition at a house in Amesbury on June 30, less than 20 kilometers from Salisbury.

Police say they were exposed to the toxin after coming into contact with a contaminated item.

Both victims remain in critical condition, and police have cordoned off several sites in Amesbury as they investigate how they may have been exposed to the nerve agent.

The Salisbury District Hospital spokesperson said in the July 7 statement that the hospital "has seen a number of members of the public who have come to the hospital with health concerns since this incident started and none have required any treatment."

"We would like to reiterate the advice from Public Health England that the risk to the wider public remains low," the spokesperson said.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, dpa, AFP, and the BBC
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