18:18 GMT11 May 2021
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    Alleged Poisoning Attack on Russian Ex-Spy Skripal in UK (226)

    Sergei and Yulia Skripal have been awake for a while now, with doctors saying that both are out of critical condition and responding well to treatment despite initial claims to the contrary.

    Alastair Hay, Professor of Environmental Toxicology at Leeds University, explained to Sky News how the Skripals’ “miracle” recovery became possible.

    “The nerve agents are deadly. That’s why they were chosen as chemical weapons. If you are exposed to a number of lethal doses then invariably it is fatal,” he said, adding that they have an impact on the nervous system, leading to cardiac arrest and even asphyxiation.

    Quick Treatment

    According to Hay, the pair survived due to the decent medical care they received at the hospital.

    “In a way it is a miracle really. But also a testimony to our NHS: great doctors well-trained, looking after people appropriately and well. So it’s the skill of our doctors that’s ensured their survival. Without it, I’m pretty certain they would not have survived.”

    The toxicology expert elaborated that there was no magic cure for nerve agent poisoning, and that “doctors treating the Skripals would have been a bit in the dark about some aspect of their treatment” because “a very specific (antidote) to target the nerve agent and pull it off an enzyme that is blocked is just not known.” He assumed that the medics were likely to have given several general antidotes to Sergei and Yulia.

    Skripals are Novichok-Free

    “The nerve agents are eventually metabolized and excreted from the body. So it’s highly unlikely there is any nerve agent present… after even a couple of weeks,“ Hay told the media outlet.

    No Trust

    Social media users seem not to trust their own government, questioning the Skripals’ “miracle” awakening and wondering whether there was ever any nerve agent involved.

    Some recalled that the authorities described Novichok as the most lethal nerve agent… which “failed to work”:

    Others made an interesting observation:

    While the UK has accused Russia of the attack on the former spy and his daughter, claiming that the substance, allegedly used to poison the Skripals, was developed in Russia, the British military research center at Porton Down was unable to prove that the nerve agent was made in Russia, although they managed to identify it as Novichok. Social media users and the leader of the Labor Party quickly reminded the British public that UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had made a misleading claim on the origin of the Novichok nerve agent, saying that it was a Russian-produced substance.

    READ MORE: London 'Tying Up Loose Ends' in Skripal Case Investigation – Russian Embassy

    British authorities have insisted that Novichok was a deadly military-nerve agent, with doctors saying that Skripals would never recover and may have suffered life-long brain damage.

    Alleged Poisoning Attack on Russian Ex-Spy Skripal in UK (226)


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    Skripals, Skripal case, Skripal poisoning, Yulia Skripal, Sergei Skripal, United Kingdom
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