SCIENTISTS at Porton Down have been conducting tests to determine if a key ingredient found in insect repellents could kill Covid-19.

Citridiol, found in insect repellent Mosi-Guard, has proved to be effective against some strains of coronavirus.

Work is now underway to establish whether it could also be effective against the strain which caused the global pandemic.

A spokesperson from the Ministry of Defence said: “Citriodiol is known to have anti-viral properties and has been used as a barrier against the SARS 1 virus. Its utility for protecting against COVID-19 is therefore being explored by the Ministry of Defence as an additional protective measure for personnel working on the response.

"Further work is required to determine its full effectiveness, acquisition and distribution.”

Researchers at Porton Down have been asked to conduct studies to provide further evidence, the spokesperson added.