Cambodia PM leaves G20 after positive COVID test, worried about other leaders

Cambodian 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 November 14, 2022. M Risyal Hidayat/G20 Media Center/Handout via REUTERS

PHNOM PENH, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday expressed concern for the health of other world leaders after a positive COVID-19 test forced him to cancel meetings at the G20 Summit in Indonesia and return home early.

Hun Sen, the current chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said his symptoms were only minor but he was worried many of the leaders at the G20 in Bali had also been at the ASEAN and the East Asia Summits he hosted in Cambodia, which ended on Sunday.

"This is my biggest concern," he said in an audio message on his Facebook page. "Among those, the Indonesian president who is the next rotating chair of ASEAN, was always with me."

"Besides him, there are some other leaders who were close with me, shook hands and travelled together, including the U.S. president, who sat together at dinner and travelled together."

It was not immediately clear if any of the leaders at the G20 meeting have tested positive for COVID-19.

Summit host Indonesia has strict COVID-19 protocols in place, including mask mandates, body temperature checks, antigen, and PCR (polymerase chain reaction) swab tests, to prevent the risk of virus spread.

U.S. President Joe Biden, who is tested regularly for COVID-19, had a negative test on Tuesday morning, according to the White House.

Biden and Indonesian President Joko Widodo attended several meetings on Tuesday, among other leaders who were also in Cambodia.

Hun Sen had been scheduled to hold talks with French President Emmanuel Macron and Chinese leader Xi Jinping, among others.

Reporting by Prak Chan Thul in Phnom Penh and Nandita Bose in Nusa Dua, Indonesia; Writing by Ed Davies and Martin Petty, Editing by William Maclean

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.