The 2020 UAE Tour cycling race was abandoned midway on Friday after two Italian participants tested positive for the coronavirus, Anadolu reports.
The Abu Dhabi Sports Council issued a statement announcing that the remaining rounds of the race were cancelled.
“The decision has been taken to ensure the protection of all race participants. Safety comes at the top of all priorities,” said the council.
According to the statement, UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention said all race participants, administrative staff, and organisers will be tested for the virus.
“All needed procedures, including quarantine measures, will be taken to ensure viral suppression and curb the spread of the virus,” the statement added.
“All necessary precautions to ensure highly efficient preventive measures are being taken, including check-ups and observation of people in contact with the patients.”
Other sporting events in Italy and around the world have also been affected by the outbreak.
This Sunday’s heavyweight clash between Juventus and Inter Milan will be played without fans in the stadium.
Last week, two international sporting events that were to be held in China over the coming months were cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
They were the Women’s Tennis Association’s 2020 Xi’an Open and 2020 Asian Olympic Qualifier for wrestling.
Nearly 83,000 COVID-19 cases and over 2,800 deaths have been confirmed in more than 45 countries around the world.
China, where the outbreak originated, is the worst-hit, with more than 78,000 cases and over 2,700 fatalities.
Italy is the worst-affected country in Europe and, according to local media reports, the number of cases there has risen to 650.
The death toll in Italy increased to 17 on Friday, according to the latest figures released by the country’s head of civil protection.