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Britain

Condition improves for British man hospitalised in Novichok poisoning

Charles Rowley, 45, regained consciousness and had seen ‘small but significant improvement’ after exposure to nerve agent that killed his partner

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 July, 2018, 2:38am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 July, 2018, 2:55am

A man poisoned by the military nerve agent Novichok in southwestern England has regained consciousness and has improved slightly, according to hospital officials.

Salisbury District Hospital said on Tuesday that Charles Rowley, 45, had experienced a “small but significant improvement” and is now conscious.

The hospital said in a statement that “while this is welcome news, clearly we are not out of the woods yet. Charlie is still very unwell.”

UK police say Sturgess was killed by same nerve agent used on Russian ex-spy

Rowley is in critical but stable condition.

Rowley and his partner, Dawn Sturgess, were apparently exposed to Novichok on June 30, both collapsing in Rowley’s Amesbury home and brought to the hospital in nearby Salisbury in critically ill condition.

Sturgess, 44, died on Sunday, by which time it was determined she had been exposed to the military-grade nerve agent, which was produced in the Soviet Union during the cold war.

Two critical after incident involving ‘unknown substance’, close to where ex-spy was poisoned

Police have said the working theory of their murder investigation is that the couple’s exposure was linked to the earlier Novichok attack in March on the former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury.

The Skripals both survived the attack.

Police believe Rowley and Sturgess may have handled an item contaminated by Novichok and will hope that Rowley can explain how they were exposed.

Britain blamed Russia for the Skripal attack, a charge strongly denied by Moscow, which also says it has no knowledge of the latest incident.