Covid-19 hits BTS, Enhypen and K-drama star Park Seo-joon, as Omicron wave lashes South Korea

K-pop acts including BTS and Enhypen have contracted Covid-19, and actor Park Seo-joon (above) is the latest Korean star to be infected, as the Omicron variant of the virus spreads through South Korea.
PHOTO: Instagram/skecherssg

As South Korea continues to face rising Covid-19 case numbers, the country’s entertainment industry has not been spared, with multiple K-pop acts and popular actors testing positive for the coronavirus.

On Feb 24, popular K-drama actor Park Seo-joon was reported to have contracted the virus, following weeks of celebrities sharing their test results and, when available, news of their full recovery.

The news of Park contracting the virus, for instance, came just two days after close friend V (Kim Tae-hyung) of BTS was confirmed to have a clean bill of health on Feb 22.

Since late December, the Korean entertainment industry has put star faces to the country’s current wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. Popular K-pop groups including BTS, Seventeen, Kep1er, The Boyz, Momoland, Tomorrow X Together, Brave Girls, Enhypen, Oh My Girl, Ateez, Itzy, iKon, Viviz and Super Junior have reported infections among their ranks.

V of BTS has been given a clean bill of health after recovering from Covid.
PHOTO: Big Hit Entertainment

A handful of acts, such as the nine-member boy band Cravity, have reported all their members contracting the virus.

Because of the wave of infections, the entertainment industry has been facing frequent cancellations and rescheduling of events and television appearances. Newly launched K-pop girl group NMIXX were forced to postpone promotional events for their debut single album, Ad Mare, after members tested positive for the coronavirus.

Popular actors and television personalities have also reported testing positive for the coronavirus during the current pandemic wave in South Korea, including Jung Il-woo, Jo Se-ho, and Kim Jong-min.

As of Feb 24, no celebrities have had a serious case of Covid-19 requiring a long stay in hospital, although some have faced other health issues simultaneously.

Earlier this month, BTS’ Jimin recovered from the coronavirus after testing positive while undergoing surgery for appendicitis in January, and Parasite star Park So-dam revealed this month that she had tested positive while undergoing thyroid cancer treatment.

Nmixx were forced to postpone promotional events for their debut single album Ad Mare after members tested positive for Covid-19.
PHOTO: JYP Entertainment

Last week, South Korea reported more than 100,000 positive Covid-19 cases in a single day. With high vaccination coverage and social distancing measures, as well as low death rates, local authorities say the country’s situation is manageable.

Throughout the pandemic, there have been waves of Covid-19 infections in South Korea’s entertainment industry, but the current one has had the most impact.

ALSO READ: K-pop star Suga tests positive for Covid-19 after BTS return from US

This article was first published in South China Morning Post.