UAE Tour's coronavirus cases didn't mix with cyclists: Minister of Health

Photo: WAM

The two Italian team members of the UAE Tour who had tested positive for COVID-19 were among the technical crew, who typically do not mix with participants in the event, according to Dr. Abdul Rahman bin Mohammad bin Nasser Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention.

The minister made the statements at a joint news conference with Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, to brief the media on the coronavirus in the UAE at the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority in Abu Dhabi on Saturday .

"A total 612 people who were in contact with the two Italian patients were examined, and the laboratory results for 450 showed they are free from the virus, while results for the remaining 162 people are expected soon," added Al Owais.

"Two aircraft have been prepared in coordination with the Iranian authorities concerned for the safe evacuation of the UAE nationals living in the Iranian Qeshm city and the capital Tehran," added the minister.

"There are 21 novel coronavirus cases in the UAE, five of who have already recovered," the health minister added.

For his part, the minister of education said that nurseries in the UAE will be closed for two weeks effective tomorrow, March 1st, as a precautionary measure against coronavirus.

"We are constantly assessing the situation and will take any measures required to ensure the safety of our students. We have earlier issued a circular to suspend all student activities inside and outside the country until further notice. Another circular has already been issued allowing any student having flu symptoms to stay home until full recovery."

"The United Arab Emirates strictly adheres to the standards and guidelines of the World Health Organisation in order to ensure the safety of the society and its protection," the health minister affirmed noting that "all necessary preventive measures have been taken to counter the spread of the virus outbreak, including installing thermal detectors in the air, sea and land ports along with qualified medical teams around the clock, and providing necessary medical equipment for laboratory tests.

"Recovery from the virus is on the rise, with more than 90 percent of infected cases being in China, and the remaining distributed all over the world," said the minister, adding that the precautionary measures taken by the UAE have been acclaimed by the World Health Organisation and Arab health ministers during their recent meeting in Cairo in addition to the Chinese officials.

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