Coronavirus has hit the Middle East, with two people testing positive for the virus. They are reported to both be Italian. According to state-run media, two hotels are now in lockdown as authorities look to contain the spread of the virus.
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The reports come UAE news agency WAM, who say that guests at the two hotels “interacted with two Italians diagnosed with coronavirus” have been placed under an emergency quarantine.
Other people who also interacted with the two sufferers on Yas island have been isolated at home according to the health department of Abu Dhabi.
The two Italians received their positive test results on Thursday.
A spokeswoman for the Marriot-owned Abu Dhabi confirmed to the BBC that it had been placed under a “temporary lockdown”.
All guests in the hotel are now undergoing a screening process.
The W spokeswomen added: “The safety and well-being of our guests is of paramount importance to us and we will comply with the direction provided by the authorities.”
It is thought that both hotels had been hosting cyclists and crew for the UAE Tour race.
Reports circulating state that the Italians were part of race staff.
According to BBC Sport riders at the event, including Britain’s Chris Froome, are now being tested for the virus.
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The event’s organises have since confirmed the next stages of the race will no longer go ahead.
The news follows the quarantine of a hotel in Tenerife, Canary Islands, where hotel guests have been placed under lockdown after an Italian guest was taken to hospital suffering from symptoms.
He and his wife both tested positive for the deadly virus.
Hotel guests were informed they would not be allowed to leave when a notice was posted under their bedroom doors.
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Hotel guests staying at the H1 Costa Adeje Palace in Tenerife will remain under quarantine until the middle of March.
Over 100 tourists staying at the hotel have been told they can not leave “until the sanitary authorities warn.”
Italy has become one of the worst affected regions outside of Asia, with the number of sufferers rapidly soaring day-on-day.
At the time of writing there are 655 confirmed cases in the country. While 45 patients are said to have recovered, 17 have lost their lives.
Meanwhile, globally more than 83,000 people have contracted the disease.
The illness has seeped into 35 countries after starting in Wuhan China.
In the UK alone there are now 19 confirmed cases.
The World Health Organisation has issued advice for travellers following the outbreak.
Though they do not advise against all travel, they do suggest following the advice of authorities in affected regions and following sanitary precautions.
They remain firm that one of the best ways to avoid the illness is by practising good hand hygiene.
This means washing hands with soap and water, as well as using alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention also add: “Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.”
However, travel experts aren’t convinced that it is safe.
Travel pro Simon Calder pointed to airports as one of the wort places for the spread of disease.
He went so far as to describe airports as “the biohazard cauldrons of the world.”
Appearing on ITV’s This Morning the expert told Holly Willoughby and Phillip that we’re in “unprecedented territory”.
He explained that coronavirus is going to cause a “great deal of anxiety” for those booked to travel to destinations where cases have been reported.
“What happens if we get locked down” is more of a concern for holidaymakers rather than actually contracting the virus,” said Calder, “and that’s a real worry.”
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