'Concerns have been raised about the response to the second Wiltshire novichok poisonings after it emerged that one of the victims was treated for the effects of the nerve agent three days before a major incident was declared.
It was only after that delay that some scenes that could have been infected with novichok were sealed off, potentially meaning more people could have been exposed to danger.
The Guardian has revealed that paramedics gave Charlie Rowley a drug to counter novichok poisoning when he fell ill at his flat in Amesbury on Saturday 30 June last year.
Despite the actions of the paramedics, police worked on the theory that Rowley and his partner, Dawn Sturgess, who later died, had collapsed after taking heroin or crack cocaine from a contaminated batch. It was not until overnight on the following Tuesday/Wednesday that a major incident was announced.
Dawn’s father, Stan Sturgess, said he felt there was a delay in getting out the correct information about what had happened to his daughter and Rowley.
“I have some concern that the right information wasn’t put out there more quickly,” he told the Guardian. “The police said it was a bad batch of drugs. I feel they should have done more about it and looked into it in more depth.
“The paramedics thought it was novichok. The hospital had an inkling, I think, but the police didn’t seem to want to let it out there straight away. Why did they think it was a bad batch of heroin if paramedics were flagging up it as novichok?”'
Read more: Novichok poisoning: police did not seal potentially infected areas for three days
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