Mnet 'Girls Planet 999' group Kep1er push back debut, cancel MAMA 2021 appearance
Mnet’s survival show group Kep1er were set to debut in a few days but an increase in Covid cases among staff has ruined these plans
The popular survival show — Mnet's 'Girls Planet 999' — brought together the nine members of the upcoming girl group, Kep1er. The members were all set for a pre-debut appearance at MAMA 2021 followed by their year-end debut on December 14. But the rapid increase of Covid cases in the K-pop industry has put a halt to all that. This time around, it is not actually the members of the group that have contracted the virus but some members of the staff who tested positive. Ever since things seemed to be going back to normal with stricter controls and just as groups were starting to brave in-person events, a sudden wave of cases has led many groups to go into a slump again.
First, it was Enhypen members who had to postpone their September comeback due to Covid while members of the boy band Victon were not able to greet fans in their first in-person meeting in two years to celebrate their fifth anniversary. The event was canceled after all the hype when member Heo Chan suddenly tested positive for Covid-19. Now on December 6, it was announced that Mnet ‘Girls Planet 999’s girl group Kep1er — who were going to make their debut — will halt all activities scheduled for the group for a while.
Kep1er halts their debut
In an official notice Wake One and Swing Entertainment that manages the pre-debut group reported that all activities for the nine members of Kep1er were put on hold and their debut has been postponed due to a rise in Covid cases amongst staff members who are in close contact with the girls. The nine members of Kep1er namely, Choi Yujin - the group's leader - and Mashiro, the group’s co-leader, along with members Xiaoting, Chaehyun, Dayeon, Huening Bahiyyih, Youngeun, Hikaru, and Yeseo have all gone on a short hiatus as they are listed as close contacts of the infected staff members.
The agency noted that none of the nine members have shown any symptoms of being infected by Covid-19 but since the outbreak affects the safety of members and staff, all other staff members along with the group members have been tested with no additional confirmed cases so far. The staff members that had tested positive have been quarantined.
Kep1er won’t attend MAMA 2021
Ahead of the group's debut, the nine members of Kep1er were scheduled to make their pre-debut appearance at the 2021 Mnet Asia Music Awards (MAMA) which will air on December 11 at 6 pm KST (4 am ET). Kep1er was one of the two groups that were scheduled to attend the ceremony as representatives of the two popular survival show from Mnet. The other being Mnet’s ‘Street Woman Fighter’s dance crews. The agency reassured fans that they will announce the new schedule for the girls’ debut once things get better. Kep1er was scheduled to release ‘First Impact’ as their debut album.