By Sam Bridge
Department of Health - Abu Dhabi says it has taken all necessary measures to ensure the good health and safety of guests at two hotels
Two hotels on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi are acting as temporary quarantine centres as UAE health officials attempt to stop the spread of the new coronavirus among cyclists taking part in the UAE Tour.
In collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Prevention, the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi (DoH-AD) said on Friday it has taken all necessary measures to ensure the good health and safety of guests at two hotels, presumed to be in contact with two Italian nationals who tested positive for COVID-19.
The DoH-AD said in a statement carried by state news agency WAM that it has applied precautionary quarantine in two hotels on Yas Island, while other contacts have been confined to home quarantine to undergo medical investigations and periodic testing for 14 days.
The two Italian patients are currently receiving necessary medical care and they are under continuous observation, it added.
Authorities in Abu Dhabi have also put in place a set of preventive measures, including the provision of thermometers and laboratory testing kits at land, air and sea ports, as well as availability of round-the-clock-care by medical teams.
The Abu Dhabi Sports Council on Thursday cancelled the remaining rounds of the 2020 UAE Tour, scheduled for Friday and Saturday.
Britain's Adam Yates, who had led the overall race after Thursday's fifth stage, was declared winner of the event.
The tour cancellation came just a day after Italian golfers Edoardo Molinari and Lorenzo Gagli were quarantined in neighbouring Oman over coronavirus fears before being cleared to play in the country's European Tour event.
Gulf countries have announced a raft of measures to cut links with Iran to prevent coronavirus spreading, after infections emerged among people returning from pilgrimages to the Islamic republic, which is battling the deadliest outbreak outside China.
Kuwait on Friday announced two more cases for a total of 45, and there were another two cases in Oman for a total of six. Bahrain reporting three new cases - all Bahraini women returning from Iran - pushing the total to 36.
The UAE's Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) also issued a decision to temporarily suspend travel using only the national identity cards of citizens of the UAE and other Gulf countries as cases of the new coronavirus soar.
The UAE's Ministry of Health and Prevention on Thursday said two coronavirus patients in the UAE had recovered while six new cases have been confirmed. The announcement brings to 19 the number of reported cases, five of whom have been cured.