17 people in close contact with Hungarian foreign minister test negative for Covid-19

PHOTO: Facebook: กรมควบคุมโรค กระทรวงสาธารณสุข

Health officials suspect the Hungarian diplomat who tested positive for Covid-19 became infected with the virus when he picked up the Hungarian foreign minister from the airport and had lunch with him. 17 other people who came in close contact with the foreign minister during his 2-day trip to Bangkok have all tested negative.

Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto made a 1-day visit to Cambodia before flying to Bangkok. Cambodian health officials tested more than 900 people who were considered at risk of infection from the minister’s visit. So far, 4 people in Cambodia linked to the minister have tested positive.

Peter arrived in Bangkok on November 3. The 53 year old Hungarian diplomat greeted Peter at the airport and they rode in the same car, according to director of the Division of Communicable Diseases, Sophon Iamsirithavorn. The diplomat and minister had lunch for about 30 minutes at the Anantara Siam Hotel, a certified alternative quarantine facility, Sophon says.

The next day, a lab test showed the minister was infected with Covid-19. The foreign minister cancelled his meetings, including a meeting scheduled with PM Prayut Chan-o-cha. Those in close contact with the minister were asked to quarantine. The minister flew back to Hungary later that day.

The diplomat self-isolated at his home. He tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday. The diplomat did not show symptoms and was sent to the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute in Nonthaburi, a suburb just outside Bangkok, for treatment.

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | Associated Press

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Caitlin Ashworth

Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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