Hun Sen Tests Positive for Covid-19, to Miss APEC

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Prime Minister Hun Sen walks down the stairs of the presidential plane on his arrival at Ngurah Rai International Airport ahead of the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia on November 14, 2022. (G20 Media Center/Reuters)
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Prime Minister Hun Sen is returning home from Indonesia after testing positive for Covid-19, he said this morning, noting he has no symptoms but will miss meetings with Chinese and French leaders.

In a Facebook post around 8 a.m., Hun Sen said he arrived yesterday in Indonesia — where Group of 20 countries will be meeting today and Wednesday — but had tested positive for Covid-19.

“Dear compatriots! Now I’ve tested positive for Covid-19,” Hun Sen wrote. “Before leaving Cambodia, I took a test every day. And especially before leaving, I took a quick test before boarding the plane but it was not positive. I’m not sure when this virus infected me. Since when have you been with me?”

Due to his late arrival, he had missed a dinner with heads of state organized by French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday evening.

Cambodian delegates will return home, and Asean negotiations will be handled by Indonesia, Hun Sen said.

“What will be missed are plans to meet with the Chinese president and French president as scheduled in Bangkok, Thailand during the APEC summit,” he said.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation’s economic leaders’ week began on Monday and runs through Saturday, part of two weeks of high-level meetings also including the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Egypt, the Asean Summit in Phnom Penh and G-20 in Bali.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden talked for three hours on Monday in Indonesia, with a particular focus on tension over Taiwan and North Korea, Reuters reported.

Hun Sen said he would not be attending this week’s international forums.

“I plan to return to Cambodia this evening with normal symptoms. I will continue to work normally except for receiving guests.”

After initially downplaying the dangers of Covid-19 at the start of the pandemic — including telling reporters he would kick them out of a press conference if they wore masks — Hun Sen became increasingly vigilant about the virus as the months went on, rolling out widespread public vaccinations through 2021.

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