Premier Now Recovered From AH1N1 Virus

One Flu-Stricken Minister Also Better; Status of Others Unknown

Prime Minister Hun Sen has almost fully recovered from a case of AH1N1 influenza that struck him and four other government officials in late June, according to government spokesman and Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith.

“This morning he has returned to his office to work as normal,” Mr Kanharith said yesterday. “He is getting better after receiving treatment.”

Although doctors have cleared the prime minister to return to work, they instructed him not to hold any nonessential meetings until further notice.

Mr Kanharith added that the premier’s wife Bun Rany is also on the mend after having contracted the virus from her husband. He said he did not know the health status of the other officials who all tested positive for the virus after attending a Council of Ministers meeting together with the premier on June 25. The government announced the infections in a statement last week.

Senior Minister Tao Seng Hour, one of those infected, said yesterday that after a five-day course of the antiviral drug Tamiflu, doctors told him he no longer had AH1N1.

Mr Seng Hour denied last week that he had the virus, but he acknowledged yesterday that he could have been mistaken.

“I could have had it without realizing it,” he said.

Another infected official, Planning Minister Chhay Than, who also denied having contracted the virus, could not be reached yesterday.

Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh and National Bank Governor Chea Chanto took out advertisements in Rasmei Kampuchea newspaper yesterday to congratulate the premier on his recovery.

“I would like to show my pleasure and deep excitement upon hearing that the health of Samdech [Hun Sen] and Her Excellency [Bun Rany] has recovered to normal and that they are getting better after catching a serious flu,” Mr Prasidh wrote.

Before his AH1N1 diagnosis was announced last month, the prime minister was absent from a ceremony marking the founding of the ruling party due to illness, and said that a cold prevented him from meeting UN human rights envoy Surya Subedi.


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