Covid-19: Defence Science and Technology Laboratory

Part of Defence – in the House of Commons on 12th May 2020.

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Photo of Jeremy Quin Jeremy Quin The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

As I emphasised in response to Patricia Gibson, Citriodiol is a natural product—it is a natural extract of lemon eucalyptus oil—and it is readily available to the public as an insect repellent. We know that it was efficacious in the past, and the view was that if it was efficacious against SARS in the past, it may have properties that are useful against covid-19, but we have been very clear that that is not as a result of tests. It is very early days. Those tests are ongoing. If they prove that there are positive properties, that will be shared. However, this is just one very small element in a range of protections provided to our armed forces personnel, including appropriate PPE and all the appropriate hygiene and other instructions that are widely shared and widely known.