Salisbury nerve agent attack: Yulia Skripal discharged from hospital

Sergei Skripal is recovering 'more slowly', but doctors hope he will also be discharged 'in due course'

Salisbury nerve agent attack: Yulia Skripal discharged from hospital

Yulia Skripal. Image: Facebook

Updated 16.05

Health officials in Salisbury has confirmed Yulia Skripal has been discharged from hospital.

33-year-old Yulia, along with her father Sergei, had been in hospital since the nerve agent attack in the town on March 4th.

Officials had previously said both of their conditions had improved significantly, and today Salisbury District Hospital confirmed Yulia has now been able to leave hospital.

In a statement, the hospital's medical director Dr Christine Blanshard said it was not the end of Yulia's treatment but marked a significant milestone.

According to BBC, Yulia was discharged yesterday and taken to a secure location.

Her 66-year-old father, meanwhile, is said to be recovering 'more slowly'.

However, doctors say they hope the former Russian double agent will also be discharged 'in due course'.

Dr Blanshard explained: "While I won’t go into great detail about the treatment we’ve been providing, I will say that nerve agents work by attaching themselves to a particular enzyme in the body which then stops the nerves from working properly. This results in symptoms such as sickness, hallucinations and confusion.

"Our job in treating the patients has been to stabilise them – ensuring that the patients could breathe and that blood could continue to circulate. We then needed to use a variety of different drugs to support the patients until they could create more enzymes to replace those affected by the poisoning."

She added: "We also used specialised decontamination techniques to remove any residual toxins."

Dr Christine Blanshard, Medical Director, and Lorna Wilkinson, director of nursing, make a statement outside Salisbury District Hospital to announce an update on Yulia and Sergei Skripals' conditions. Picture by: Ben Mitchell/PA Wire/PA Images

'We need urgent proof'

In a tweet, the Russian Embassy in the UK congratulated Ms Skripal for her recovery, but added: "We need urgent proof that what is being done to her is done on her own free will."

In a statement, they said: "Media reports that Yulia has left hospital for a 'secure location' cause concern as they mean that British authorities are continuing their policy of isolating her from the public, concealing important evidence and blocking an impartial and independent investigation.

"We are convinced that details of the incident that Yulia could share would become a valuable contribution to the progress of the investigation.

"Meanwhile, British authorities continue to refuse to provide any independently verifiable information about Yulia’s health and wishes. The Embassy doesn’t know anything about her condition, whether she speaks for herself or whether British authorities speak instead of her, abusing her rights."

Sergei and Yulia Skripal were both found slumped on a bench in Salisbury following the attack.

The UK has blamed Russia for the attack - claims Moscow has vehemently denied.

The Russian Embassy today accused the UK of destroying 'valuable evidence' related to the attack.

Test results from samples taken by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in Salisbury are expected this week.