Rigorous procedures and check-ups are being conducted, with close medical monitoring for 14 days.
A massive quarantine process was carried out in two luxury hotels on Yas Island after two Italian staff members of a team participating in the UAE Tour cycling event had tested positive for coronavirus.
The Department of Health – Abu Dhabi with the Ministry of Health and Prevention has taken all measures to ensure the health and safety of guests at two hotels, which are under temporary lockdown.
“The DoH has taken immediate quarantine measures for the two Yas Island hotels. It has also house-quarantined others who may have come into contact with the diagnosed cases. Rigorous procedures and check-ups are being conducted, with close medical monitoring for 14 days,” Abu Dhabi Government Media Office said.
“Meanwhile, all relevant entities in Abu Dhabi are taking necessary measures. Ports and entry points are being monitored using thermal scanners, all required medical check-ups are being performed, and early warning systems activated to monitor any suspected cases.”
Abu Dhabi Sports Council said in a statement that all measures are in place to ensure safety of the riders. “The decision has been taken to ensure protection of all the race’s participants,” said Abu Dhabi Sports Council, adding that “safety comes at the top of all priorities”.
“Riders and staff members are awaiting results of tests and hope the situation will be resolved soon,” said Dmitriy Fofonov, sports manager, Astana Pro Team.
“We hope the results of the testing will be OK for us, but also for all other teams and all people involved in this race. At the moment all Astana Pro Team members are feeling good and healthy and are waiting for the decision of the Organising Committee and the Government of UAE about further procedures.”
The Organising Committee, Fofonov said, is working hard with local authorities to tackle this situation.
“We understand that it is an unprecedented and super difficult situation, so we are patient and are waiting for the situation to be resolved.”
Among the 140 cyclists to be quarantined include some of the biggest names like seven-time Grand Tour winner Chris Froome. “It’s a shame that the UAE Tour has been cancelled but public health must come first. We are all awaiting testing and will remain at the hotel until further notice. I hope those affected make a speedy recovery and there aren’t any further cases coronavirus,” Froome said.
It is not immediately known for how many days the riders, team members and guests at the hotels will be kept under lockdown. Apart from the teams, there is a bunch of international journalists who cover this event who are also quarantined. No one can leave or enter the hotels. And both the luxury hotels aren’t accepting new bookings for now.
With two of seven stages still to go, the Tour – the only UCI World Tour race in the Middle East – was cancelled early on Friday after stage 5 held in Al Ain. While the final two stages were to be held in Ruwais and Abu Dhabi City, the earlier rounds were held in Dubai and Hatta. The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina was race headquarter for the first three stages.
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