Prime Minister Hun Sen tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Indonesia for G20 summit meetings this week, following meetings with more than a dozen world leaders in Phnom Penh in the past week during the Asean summit.
Hun Sen said he tested negative before heading to Bali on Monday and was not experiencing symptoms, but he and the Cambodian delegation would return to Cambodia “for the safety of other participants” of the forum, according to a post on Hun Sen’s Facebook page on Tuesday.
Cambodia was requesting Indonesia, the incoming Asean chair, represent the 10-member bloc at the G20 summit, a meeting of many of the world’s largest economies.
“I am planning to return to Cambodia this evening without any Covid symptoms, and I will continue to work as usual, except for in-person meetings with guests,” Hun Sen said.
The prime minister, who is fully vaccinated against the virus, said he would miss scheduled meetings with the presidents of China and France in Bangkok during the Asia-Paciﬁc Economic Cooperation summit beginning Friday.
In the past week, Hun Sen has held meetings with Asean leaders, as well as U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, U.S. President Joe Biden, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and other heads of state in Phnom Penh for the four-day Asean summit, repeatedly shaking hands and posing for photos without facial masks.
On Sunday, the prime minister shook hands and handed a gavel to Indonesian President Joko Widodo, a gesture representing Cambodia passing the Asean chairmanship to Indonesia.