Positive Covid-19 test results for K-pop stars Yiren and Sihyeon of girl group Everglow raise fears about an industry-wide cluster


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Yiren and Sihyeon, two members of K-pop girl group Everglow, have tested positive for Covid-19, raising concerns about a potential industry-wide cluster.
China-born star Yiren reportedly came into contact on November 22 with someone confirmed to have the virus, but only found out later. The girl group recorded an appearance on November 24 for the popular South Korean television show Yoo Hee-yeol’s Sketchbook. All other Everglow members, along with everyone who took part in the filming of the Sketchbook episode, have reportedly tested negative for Covid-19.
The positive results for Sihyeon and Yiren come after two members of boy band Up10tion were confirmed this week to have Covid-19. That led a multitude of K-pop stars who appeared with them on two weekly music shows to have tests.
While the coronavirus outbreak has been largely controlled in South Korea and the Seoul-based entertainment industry hasn’t slowed down much apart from cancelling live events, music stars coming down with coronavirus is of concern to many and the K-pop industry is rapidly trying to adjust to the situation.

So far, everyone who has been in contact with either Up10tion or Everglow are reported to have tested negative for the coronavirus, including the remaining Up10tion members and the acts NCT, Aespa, BtoB 4U, and Pentagon. However, as both the confirmed infections involved television show recordings, concerns have been raised about the South Korean media as the planned end-of-year show season approaches.
Some K-pop artists and groups have gone into voluntary quarantine as a precaution – the coronavirus’ incubation period is commonly assumed to be around 14 days.
Pentagon recently cancelled an online concert after member Yeo One reportedly came in contact with a confirmed Covid-19 case, and fellow group member Hui’s enlistment in the South Korean military, due on December 3, has been temporarily delayed, as he appeared on the same television show as Up10tion.
Along with the fears for the health of K-pop stars and their staff, the production of several films and television dramas has been halted as cast and crew members undergo testing, reportedly because of contact with confirmed Covid-19 sufferers or because someone experienced symptoms of infection.
To date, South Korea has reported more than 35,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 529 deaths.
This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (www.scmp.com), the leading news media reporting on China and Asia.
Copyright (c) 2020. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.
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