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MP Jamie Stone asks for evidence that insect repellant given to military personnel to reduce risk of coronavirus is effective - and says if it is, then it should be distributed to key workers

By Philip Murray

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Jamie Stone MP.
Jamie Stone MP.

ANSWERS are needed from government as to whether an insect repellent used by army personnel is at all effective at reducing the risk of Covid-19, a Highland MP has insisted.

Jamie Stone, who represents Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, made the call after it was reported that the Ministry of Defence was supplying the armed forces with insect repellent containing Citriodiol "as part of the enhance force health protection measures".

Despite the MoD's move, it has yet to point to any evidence suggesting Citriodiol is effective in protecting people against Covid-19.

Mr Stone has now asked for any evidence to be made public, and demanded that if there is any, that all key workers are supplied with Citridiol immediately If there isn't any evidence that it is effective, then he has also asked why military resources are being "wasted" on stockpiling it.

He has submitted a "named day" question to the MoD requiring a response by May 4.

And in a letter to the Secretary of State for Defence, Ben Wallace MP, he also asked "if your decision has been taken on the basis of sound scientific evidence, then why are other frontline workers not also being provided with Citriodiol?"

After writing to the Secretary of State, Mr Stone said: "The government must make public the evidence behind the decision to supply our armed forces with Citriodiol.

"If there is evidence that Citriodiol is effective in protecting people against Coronavirus, then I am thrilled that our armed forces are being supplied with it. However, this does beg the question: why aren't all key workers being given it?

"On the other hand, if there is no evidence that Citriodiol is effective, then why waste precious resources stockpiling the stuff and giving it out? Surely that money would be better spent on procuring PPE?

"Either way, the UK government needs to clear all this up. At the end of the day, I just want to make sure that any key worker – whether they're saving lives in care homes, facilitating mobile testing in the Highlands, or stacking shelves in ASDA – is given the best possible protection."

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