Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen tests positive for COVID-19 after meetings with Biden, other leaders

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Nov. 15 (UPI) — Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that he was forced to cut short his appearance at the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, Tuesday after he tested positive for COVID-19.

Sen posted the announcement to Facebook Tuesday, saying he had tested negative for the virus every day ahead of the meetings, and even tested negative again as he boarded his plane to Bali, where the conference was being held. The statement acknowledged that the situation could have been worse.

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“It is lucky that I didn’t join the dinner that was organized by the French government with several heads of states last night, since I arrived late,” he wrote.

The Cambodian delegation that traveled with Sen to Bali was due to return home later in the day Tuesday. In his statement, Sen added that he would not attend the Asia-Pacific Economic summit in Bangkok later this week, where he was due to sit down with France’s President Emmanuel Macron and China’s President Xi Jinping.

For the past three days, Sen has held high-level meetings with multiple world leaders, including U.S. President Joe Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, before the caucus moved Saturday to Cambodia’s capital of Phnom Penh for a meeting of the Association of Southeast Nations.

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Biden has since tested negative for the virus, the White House said early Tuesday, adding that the president’s contact with Cambodia’s leader was limited by U.S. public health standards, although the two men did shake hands in Phnom Penh on Saturday and neither wore a mask during a one-on-one meeting that lasted about 30 minutes.

Last Monday at the White House, several days before Biden departed on the Asian trip, the president told reporters that he had come down with a cold as he coughed at a press briefing.