PM Concerned for ASEAN Summit World Leaders After Testing Covid-19 Positive

Prime Minister Hun Sen has prioritized the health of world leaders visiting Cambodia for the ASEAN summits after testing positive for Covid-19 in Indonesia, days after the meetings closed
Prime Minister Hun Sen arrives in Phnom Penh, November 15, 2022. Kiripost via SPM Page
Prime Minister Hun Sen arrives in Phnom Penh, November 15, 2022. Kiripost via SPM Page

Prime Minister Hun Sen has expressed concern for world leaders who visited the ASEAN Summits in Cambodia after he tested positive for Covid-19 in Indonesia attending the G20 meeting, days after the summits closed.

After returning from Indonesia on Tuesday, the Prime Minister remarked that his health is not of grave concern. His main worry lies with the health of leaders who visited Cambodia during the ASEAN summits, he said in a voice message recorded at his house in Takhmao City, Kandal Province, on Tuesday night.

In the message, he said, “For me, the Covid-19 infection is less of an issue compared to the larger issue of the leaders who traveled from Cambodia to Indonesia to attend the G20 summits, regardless of whether the leaders of their respective countries were infected with Covid-19 or not because almost half of the leaders who had meetings at the G20 summit in Indonesia came from Cambodia. The Indonesian president always sat next to me as other world leaders stood around, shook hands, and traveled together.”

Hun Sen added that he had also had close contact with US President Joe Biden during the Summits in Phnom Penh. According to the White House, Biden had a negative test on Tuesday morning.

“I work 10 or 15 hours a day, so I could have caught Covid-19 when I was exhausted. Additionally, my symptoms are not severe, so I can work from home with the exception of reception [receiving people],” he said.

Hun Sen announced about his positive Covid-19 test on Tuesday morning and added that, for the protection of the Cambodian delegation, he and delegates returned to Cambodia on the same day, canceling bilateral meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron.

The Prime Minister and government representatives were in Bali to attend the G20 conference from November 15 to 16 and would later attend the APEC Informal Dialogue in Bangkok.

The delegation consisted of more than 40 people. who returned from Indonesia at 7pm Tuesday’s night after they had received negative rapid Covid-19 tests, according to Youk Sambath, Secretary of State for the Ministry of Health.