Police have launched a counter-terror investigation after several “unsolicited” packages containing “unlabelled fluids” arrived at multiple hospitals and blood testing labs, HuffPost UK has learned.
Parcels labelled “The Cyrus Project” have been received across the NHS, the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies, said in an official warning sent to health service chiefs on Thursday.
“An organisation identifying itself as ‘The Cyrus Project’ has sent unsolicited packages, with accompanying literature requesting testing on the enclosed sample, to a number of health related organisations over the last 24 hours,” Davies wrote.
Tests have so far found the packages and their contents to be non-hazardous, but Davies advised any NHS staff who come into contact with a parcel to wear synthetic rubber gloves and quarantine it in a “secure leak-proof container”.
“Wash your hands, or any part of your body that comes into contact with the package, with water,” the advice adds.
The warning said counter-terror police were “managing the response” and that “forensic testing is currently underway”.
A letter circulated within the Milton Keynes University Hospital research and development department, seen by HuffPost UK, said that it had received a “brown paper bag package containing a sample of unlabelled fluid”.
The letter said that “similar samples have been sent to 25 other trusts”, and that any further packages received should be reported to the Metropolitan Police.
A source said hospital blood testing labs are among the facilities to have received a parcel.
A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said in a statement: “We can confirm that we have received a number of reports relating to suspicious packages being received at hospitals in London.
“Specialist officers have attended the hospitals and are assessing the packages. None of the packages assessed so far have been found to contain anything hazardous.
“Police enquiries are ongoing.”