Cambodia says over 600 people, in contact with Hungarian FM, test negative for COVID-19

PHNOM PENH, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia's Ministry of Health (MoH) announced on Thursday that more than 600 people, who came into contact with Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto who recently visited Cambodia, tested negative for the COVID-19.

Women wearing face masks amid concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, carry their child outside a hospital with a banner warning about the virus in Phnom Penh on September 29, 2020. (File photo: AFP)

Szijjarto, who visited Cambodia on Tuesday, reportedly tested positive for the COVID-19 on the same day after arriving in Thailand from Cambodia on his Asian tour, the MoH said in a press statement.

"As of 23:00 on Nov. 4, a total of 628 people, who came into contact with him, had been tested by the Pasteur Institute of Cambodia and the results showed that all were negative for the COVID-19," the MoH said.

Contact tracing is still underway, it added.

During his one-day visit to Cambodia, Szijjarto had met separately with Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen, Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn, Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak, and Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon as well as Parliamentarian Sous Yara.

Hun Sen wrote on his official Facebook page on Wednesday evening that he and his wife Bun Rany as well as bodyguards and chauffeurs, totally 18 people, had undergone first testing for the COVID-19 and the results came out negative.

"Although I have not contracted the COVID-19, for the safety of all, doctors have required me to go into a 14-day self-quarantine (at home), and I can't meet even my wife, children and grandchildren," he said.

Hun Sen said he will miss the 37th virtual summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) from Nov. 12 to 15. Instead, he will send a representative.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said in a press statement on Wednesday that the government had decided to allow all leaders and officials, who had direct contact with the Hungarian delegation, to undergo testing for the COVID-19 and to go into a 14-day self-quarantine.

According to the MoH, the Southeast Asian nation detected no new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday and the kingdom's total cases remain at 292, with 286 recoveries.