By Sam Bridge
Department of Health - Abu Dhabi says still monitoring the condition of the remaining contact cases, with results expected 'within the next few hours'
The Department of Health - Abu Dhabi (DoH-AD) affirmed late Friday that laboratory tests conducted on 167 cases of quarantined contacts of two cases of the new coronavirus have returned negative.
In a statement, the DoH-AD said it is still monitoring the condition of the remaining contact cases, adding that test results will be available "within the next few hours".
In collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Prevention and other competent authorities, the DoH-AD applied precautionary quarantine and preventive measures on all participants in the UAE Tour and placed them in hotels on Yas Island for testing.
Two Italian COVID-19 patients - both on the staff of the cycling event - are still 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.
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) has 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.