Papua New Guinea PM tests positive for COVID-19 in Beijing

February 7, 2022 GMT
FILE - Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea James Marape addresses the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Friday Sept. 24, 2021, at the UN headquarters. Marape tested positive for COVID-19 when he arrived in Beijing last week to attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games and had to cut short his stay. (Peter Foley/Pool Photo via AP, File)
FILE - Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea James Marape addresses the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Friday Sept. 24, 2021, at the UN headquarters. Marape tested positive for COVID-19 when he arrived in Beijing last week to attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games and had to cut short his stay. (Peter Foley/Pool Photo via AP, File)
FILE - Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea James Marape addresses the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Friday Sept. 24, 2021, at the UN headquarters. Marape tested positive for COVID-19 when he arrived in Beijing last week to attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games and had to cut short his stay. (Peter Foley/Pool Photo via AP, File)
FILE - Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea James Marape addresses the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Friday Sept. 24, 2021, at the UN headquarters. Marape tested positive for COVID-19 when he arrived in Beijing last week to attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games and had to cut short his stay. (Peter Foley/Pool Photo via AP, File)
FILE - Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea James Marape addresses the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Friday Sept. 24, 2021, at the UN headquarters. Marape tested positive for COVID-19 when he arrived in Beijing last week to attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games and had to cut short his stay. (Peter Foley/Pool Photo via AP, File)

BEIJING (AP) — Papua New Guinea’s prime minister tested positive for COVID-19 when he arrived in Beijing last week to attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games and had to cut short his stay.

Prime Minister James Marape was immediately given medical treatment, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Monday.

Marape missed Friday’s opening ceremony and returned home Sunday night, canceling a planned trip to France. However, he held a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang via video link while in Beijing, Zhao said at a regular briefing.

Marape’s present condition is unknown.

The Papua New Guinea delegation “strictly complied with relevant epidemic prevention measures during its stay in China,” Zhao said.

Papua New Guinea, an impoverished nation of 7 million people, is experiencing a surge in cases of the omicron variant of the coronavirus, with less than 4% of its population vaccinated.