Just days after Dmitry Strakhov (Gazprom Rusvelo) was the first rider confirmed to have contracted coronavirus, Het Laatste Nieuws has reported that Gaviria has been in hospital in Abu Dhabi with the virus for the past two weeks.
“I know there’s been a lot of rumors about my health,” Gaviria said. “Exams have found that I am positive for coronavirus, but I am feeling good. I want to say thanks to the team, and everyone at the hospital who have been treating me very well. I’m [staying] here to avoid infecting other people, and we’ll see how it goes. I want to assure everyone that I am OK, and we’re hoping this is resolved as soon as possible.”
Gaviria had been racing at the UAE Tour before the race was canceled two stages early due to rumors of coronavirus in members of participating teams. The situation led to Cofidis, Groupama-FDJ and Gazprom-RusVelo being placed under extended lockdown due to confirmed cases of the virus on the hotel floor that they shared. Gaviria’s Emirati team elected to place themselves under quarantine.
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UAE Team Emirates had said in a release on March 1 that “despite being given the green light to travel home and the last tests carried out coming back negative, our team has decided to extend their stay in the UAE to continue testing everyone’s conditions and go home only with the safety of non-contagion.”
However Het Laaste Nieuws has reported that sources confirm Gaviria has been in hospital in Abu Dhabi the past two weeks having been diagnosed with the illness while racing the UAE Tour. In past weeks, many fingers had been pointed toward Gaviria as a possible victim of the virus since reports from various outlets circulated stating that a Colombian rider was among the confirmed cases of coronavirus within teams that remained in quarantine.
While Het Laaste Nieuws stated that Gaviria’s symptoms were mild, there was no confirmation of when he would be released from hospital.