Covid in K-pop: Strict guidelines set after fromis_9 Seoyeon, P1Harmony's Intak get virus
With 47 K-pop idols getting Covid-19 in the last three weeks and the number of cases in South Korea itself increasing, exasperated fans protested for stricter guidelines to curb the spread of the virus. While YG shared that all 10 of their idols that had fallen sick had recovered, CIX's Bae Jinyoung, P1Harmony’s Intak and fromis_9’s Seoyeon became the latest K-pop idols to test positive.
The Omicron outbreak in K-pop began on January 19 when 30 idols tested positive in the next 10 days. By week two, the cases increased to 41. We had idols like BTS’ Jimin, almost all of iKON, half of Drippin, WEi, and Treasure getting Covid-19. Almost every day we had one idol testing positive. Since the new strain was not considered lethal yet, there were no strict social distancing guidelines that allowed artists to continue with their gigs in crowded places.
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P1Harmony Intak and fromis_9 Seoyeon get Covid
However, the cases in the K-pop industry and South Korea, in general, have alarmingly increased. The latest idols happened to be P1Harmony’s Intak and fromis_9’s Seoyeon. On February 4, FNC Entertainment shared that Intak had visited his family during the Lunar New Year. One of the family members had cold symptoms and so the idol took a self-test which was positive on February 3. He did a PCR test and the test too came back positive confirming that he has Covid-19.
Intak has minor symptoms of a sore throat. P1Harmony’s Keeho and Soul had come in close contact with Intak and so took tests that came back negative. However, all group members and the staff will continue to take PCR tests and all of their schedules have been postponed or canceled accordingly. At the same time, we had Pledis Entertainment sharing that even their artist, Seoyeon of fromis_9 had fallen sick. Hours after Intak’s news, Pledis shared that Seoyeon had experienced fatigue, mild dizziness and an itchy throat.
The fromis_9 member went to the hospital on February 3 and got tested. Her test has come back positive on February 4. She has no other symptoms and had taken her second vaccine. All of the other members also got tested which came back negative and do not have any symptoms. However, they are all self-quarantining. Pledis also shared that all of their schedules till February 12 have been postponed to a later date.
Along with them, we also got the news that CIX's Bae Jinyoung had also tested positive for Covid-19. He had cough symptoms on February 3 after returning from his Lunar New Year holiday. However, he has taken his second vaccine and is in quarantine. All of the other members tested negative.
Seoul sets new social-distancing guidelines
On February 4, Seoul had the highest cases since the Omicron outbreak in the new year. Around 23,202 new cases were confirmed since February 3. The Prime Minister discussed with the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures ministry and has effective immediately set new guidelines. They have set a social distancing measure of the “6 people and 9 pm” rule which will be followed till February 20. It means that no more than six people can gather and the curfew will start after 9 pm.