Wave of K-pop stars test positive for Covid-19 amid surge in South Korea

Four members of boy band iKon – Jinhwan, Yunhyeong and Donghyuk – have tested positive for Covid-19.
PHOTO: YG Entertainment

Several K-pop stars have tested positive this week for the Omicron Covid-19 variant amid South Korea’s recent wave of cases.

The country reported a record high of 8,571 daily cases on Jan 25. Around 85 per cent of South Koreans have reportedly received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, and nearly 50 per cent have received a third booster dose.

Super Junior’s Eunhyuk tested positive for the virus on Jan 20 after appearing on the popular variety show Running Man.

On Jan 23, three members of boy band iKon – Jinhwan, Yunhyeong and Donghyuk – tested positive after experiencing flu-like symptoms.

Since then, several other stars managed by YG Entertainment, which represents iKon, have tested positive for the coronavirus: Lee Seung-hoon of Winner on Jan 25, and iKon’s Junhoe and Yoshi of Treasure on Jan 26.

K-pop boy band Treasure.
PHOTO: YG Entertainment

On Jan 24, The Boyz member Eric tested positive. Though none of the other 10 members of the band or their team tested positive initially, bandmate Younghoon was reported to have tested positive on Jan 26.

Three members of the boy band WEi – Kim Dong-han, Yoo Yong-ha and Kang Seok-hwa – also tested positive for the virus on Jan 25. The other three members of the six-piece group were previously diagnosed with Covid-19 in 2021.

On Jan 26, Hyolyn , formerly of Sistar, shared on social media that she too had tested positive.

While this week has seen a sudden increase in K-pop stars falling ill, earlier in January members of Omega X also tested positive for Covid-19 and have since recovered. In December, members of BTS contracted the virus , but also made a full recovery.

This article was first published in South China Morning Post.