Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

Wiltshire lab at centre of battle against coronavirus

DSTL Porton Down


Wiltshire is at the centre of the worldwide effort to find a vaccine against coronavirus.

Microbiologists at high-security Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down, near Salisbury, have been given the virus genetic code by the Chinese – and are said to be working around the clock to develop a vaccine.

Porton Down is one of the few places in the country equipped to deal with Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens Hazard Group 4 agents – the most dangerous kind of viruses and bacteria.

The lab was previously used to develop a vaccine against Ebola.

This morning (Monday) the government announced it was donating £20m towards developing a vaccine, In China, the death toll has reached 361, with more than 17,000 reported cases.

Meanwhile, camps on Salisbury Plain have been earmarked as quarantine centres if the disease spreads across the UK.