Hong Kong leader John Lee tests positive for Covid-19 after APEC – Times of India


HONG KONG: Leader of Hong Kong John Lee tested positive for Covid-19 after meeting with other regional leaders at Thailand’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, the city government said Monday.
Lee tested negative during his four-day stay in Bangkok, but his test on his arrival at Hong Kong airport on Sunday night was positive, a government statement said.
Lee is now in isolation and will work from home, a spokesman for the Chief Executive’s Office said. Other officials in his office who went to Thailand with Lee all tested negative.
Lee’s aim at the Forum of Asia-Pacific Economies was to promote Hong Kong’s image as the city reopens to the world after imposing severe Covid-19 restrictions for much of the pandemic.
During his trip, Lee met several leaders, including Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. In some closed-door sessions, he sat next to Chinese President Xi Jinping, where both leaders could be seen without masks. He also shook hands with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who was wearing a mask.
On his first day, he welcomed Xi at Bangkok airport and stood next to the Chinese president as they entered the venue for a gala dinner that evening. On Saturday, Lee said he had spoken with Xi and briefed the president on Hong Kong’s status.
In September, Hong Kong scrapped mandatory hotel quarantine measures for inbound travelers as it sought to remain competitive and open up globally. But travelers do have to undergo home monitoring for three days. If they test negative for Covid-19 after three days, they will be allowed into venues such as restaurants and bars.
As of last Friday, the rules have been further relaxed for visitors who come to Hong Kong in tour groups. Those who sign up and meet certain conditions can eat in designated restaurants for the first three days of their visit.
Lee said on Sunday that the easing of restrictions would be gradual and weighed against the risks.
Last week, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen left Indonesia’s Group of 20 summit prematurely due to his own diagnosis of Covid-19. It came just days after he hosted President Joe Biden and other leaders for a Southeast Asian summit. Biden did not attend the APEC meeting.

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