UAE cancels cycling race due to coronavirus

28 February 2020
The UAE Tour began in Dubai on 23 February and was due to finish in Abu Dhabi on 1 March

Abu Dhabi has cancelled the final two stages of the UAE Tour cycling race after two participants in the event tested positive for coronavirus.

The Abu Dhabi Sports Council said on 28 February that it had cancelled the remaining rounds of the 2020 UAE Tour after two Italian participants had tested positive for coronavirus, which is known as Covid-19.

"The decision has been taken to ensure the protection of all the race's participants," said the council and the UAE Tour’s Higher Organising Committee, adding that "safety comes at the top of all priorities".

The UAE’s Ministry of Health & Prevention added that all the race's participants, administrative staff and organisers would be examined through the continuous periodic screening being conducted. It also said all necessary procedures, including quarantine measures, would be taken to ensure viral suppression and curb the spread of its outbreak in coordination with all health and other authorities concerned in the country.

The UAE Tour began on Sunday 23 February in Dubai and features leading cyclists from around the world, including four-time Tour de France Winner Chris Froome.

The last stage to be completed before the cancellation announcement was stage five, which would have finished at the summit of Jebel Hafeet in Al-Ain. 

The final two stages were due to be held in Abu Dhabi, with the race ending on Abu Dhabi Island’s corniche.

The two cyclists take the total number of confirmed cases in the UAE to 15.

The UAE had earlier said that a medical facility was being established “far away from residential areas” to isolate and treat Covid-19 patients.


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