Hong Kong leader tests positive for Covid after APEC summit

Beijing, Nov 21 (EFE).- Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee tested positive for Covid-19 after returning from the Asia-Pacific Cooperation (APEC) summit in Thailand, a government spokesperson announced Monday.

The spokesperson said in a statement that Lee’s PCR tests upon arrival at the Hong Kong International Airport on Sunday night returned positive results, public broadcaster RTHK reported.

The Hong Kong leader has been in isolation following the guidelines of the health authorities of the semi autonomous region and will work from home and attend meetings via video conferencing if needed, the statement added.

During his four-day trip to Thailand, Lee stood next to China’s President Xi Jinping at the event’s gala dinner on Thursday and sat next to the Chinese leader in a closed-door meeting the following day. On both occasions, the leaders were not wearing masks.

In addition to Xi, Lee also met China’s Ambassador to Thailand Han Zhiqiang, Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, and Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy Supattanapong Punmeechaow, among others.

The summit was Lee’s first overseas trip to promote the city as a global financial center after years of isolation due to the policies and restrictions imposed during the pandemic.

Hong Kong has steadily eased its anti-Covid measures since summer in an attempt to retain its position as a global financial hub, in jeopardy after nearly three years of border closures.

The former British colony scrapped its hotel quarantine requirements in September making it easier for the city to hold major international events after three years, including the World Rugby Sevens Series and the Global Financial Leaders’ Investment Summit. EFE


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