Journalist travelling with Blinken tests Covid-positive before Bangkok arrival

Journalist travelling with Blinken tests Covid-positive before Bangkok arrival

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrives at Subang Airport, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Tuesday. (Reuters photo)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrives at Subang Airport, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Tuesday. (Reuters photo)

KUALA LUMPUR: A press corps member travelling with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on his trip to Southeast Asia tested positive for Covid-19 upon arrival in Kuala Lumpur and was self-isolating, the State Department said on Wednesday.

Blinken and senior staff have also been tested on all stops of his international tour including on arrival in Kuala Lumpur late on Tuesday and they all were negative, spokesman Ned Price said.

The top US diplomat was in Jakarta on Tuesday before heading to Malaysia. He was due to continue on to Bangkok late on Wednesday ahead of meetings with Thai officials the following day.

Blinken gave a joint news conference on Wednesday with Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah.

A spokesperson for Malaysia's foreign ministry said it was informed of the Covid-19 case by the US embassy early on Wednesday and the individual had been immediately quarantined.

"The person was not involved and has not participated in any of Secretary Blinken's programmes in Kuala Lumpur," the spokesperson said.

"Other close contacts had been re-tested with results all negative as of 12 hours ago."

On Twitter, the US embassy in Jakarta said all members of the travelling press corps had tested negative there on Monday afternoon. 

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