Cambodian PM in self-quarantine, unable to attend upcoming 37th Asean Summit

Coming home .... Cambodia's King Norodom Sihamoni (right) and his mother former queen Monique greet government officials upon their arrival at Phnom Penh International Airport in Phnom Penh after a health check-up in China on Saturday (Nov 7). - AFP

PHNOM PENH, Nov 8 (Xinhua): Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen has been in a self-quarantine and will be unable to participate in the upcoming 37th summit of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (Asea) and related meetings, said a foreign ministry's press statement.

"Samdech Techo Prime Minister Hun Sen and Deputy Prime Minister [and Foreign Minister] Prak Sokhonn have expressed deep regret to their counterparts for being absent in these important events due to their mandatory 14-day self-isolation in accordance with the national safety regulation against Covid-19," the statement said.

It added that Deputy Prime Minister Aun Pornmoniroth, who is also the minister of economy and finance, will represent Cambodia on behalf of Hun Sen at the summit and related meetings, which will be held via video conference from Nov. 12 to 15.

Hun Sen and some of his government officials have been in a 14-day quarantine at their respective homes since Nov. 4, a day after meeting with Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto, who tested positive for Covid-19 upon his arrival in Thailand from Cambodia on his Asian tour.

Cambodia's Ministry of Health (MoH) said in a statement on Saturday (NOv 7) that a total of 889 people, who came in direct and indirect contacts with Szijjarto, had tested negative for Covid-19 so far.

However, they are required to go on a 14-day self-quarantine at home, pending three more tests on Nov. 9, 14 and 18 to make sure that they are free of the virus, the statement said.

Hun Sen said that he and his wife Bun Rany as well as bodyguards and chauffeurs, totally 18 people, had undergone first testing for the virus and the results came out negative.

He added that he and those involved will undergo the next three tests as required by the MoH.

Meanwhile, an Indian man and a Pakistani man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in cCambodia, the country's Ministry of Health (MoH) spokeswoman said in a press statement on Saturday.

The Indian, 33, and the Pakistani, 35, landed in Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia, on Thursday from India via connecting flights in Saudi Arabia and South Korea, respectively, said MoH secretary of state and spokeswoman Or Vandine.

"The results of their samples' testing showed (on Friday) that both men were positive for the COVID-19," she said in the statement. "Currently, the patients are undergoing treatment at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital."

The remaining 105 passengers on the same flight have been placed under a 14-day mandatory quarantine at various quarantine centers in the capital, she added.

The South-East Asian nation has recorded a total of 294 confirmed Covid-19 cases to date, the MoH said, adding that none have died and 288 have recovered. - Xinhua
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