BRITISH troops will be given insect repellant for protection against coronavirus after tests showed it may kill the deadly disease.
Citriodiol has been known to fight types of the virus – with evidence now suggesting it could also tackle the Covid-19 strain.
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A source told Sky News there is evidence to suggest the product – made from oil from the leaves and twigs of the eucalyptus citriodora tree – could kill the strain behind the pandemic.
It is found in the insect repellent Mosi Guard, which is already being dispatched to military units.
The product dissolves over time, so could add a layer of protection for a number of hours.
If proven to be effective, the spray will be used to bolster current protective measures – including social distancing and hand washing.
The company behind Citriodiol is now calling for the government to formally test the product after claiming it could offer better protection against coronavirus.
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Jacqueline Watson, managing director of Citrefine International Ltd, said: "What we can say is that we do feel there is a very good chance it could work against this virus but it does of course need to be thoroughly tested."
Soldiers are also being handed disinfectant spray if they come into contact with someone who may have the killer bug.
The ESOL disinfectant is normally used on food to extend its shelf life – with troops being asked to apply it every four hours.
They are also set to be offered vitamin D supplements to boost their immune system.
Priority will be given to those supporting the government's effort to tackle coronavirus – such as troops working on testing sites and delivering personal protective equipment (PPE).
A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: "The protection and well-being of armed forces personnel is a priority.
"To help them remain healthy and available for duty the MoD is considering what additional measures can help their immune systems to stay fighting fit."
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