February 29, 2020 / 9:11 AM / a month ago

Cycling: Coronavirus tests clear 167 of possible UAE Tour exposure

(Reuters) - Tests on 167 people have proved negative for coronavirus after they were feared to have been exposed to two infected Italian participants of the UAE Tour, Abu Dhabi’s health department (DoH-AD) has said.

The rapid spread of coronavirus has raised fears of a pandemic, with eight countries reporting their first cases and the World Health Organization raising its global spread and impact risk alert to “very high”.

The final two stages of the UAE Tour, which featured some of the world’s leading riders, was cancelled because two Italian participants testing positive for coronavirus, the Abu Dhabi Sports Council said on Thursday.

“Two cases of coronavirus were suspected among two staff members of one of the participating teams,” cycling’s governing body, UCI, said on Friday.

The official race hotel in Abu Dhabi was sealed off late on Thursday and health authorities ordered precautionary quarantine and preventive measures for all participants of the UAE Tour.

“The health authorities are still monitoring the health condition of the contacts to ensure safety of the community,” the DoH-AD said in a statement late on Friday.

The results of the remaining test findings will be available soon, it added.

The UAE Tour was just one of many international sports events hit by the coronavirus, with some postponed and others cancelled outright.

Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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