South Korea's music industry on alert as more singers test positive for Covid-19

Lee Min-hyuk of K-pop boy band BtoB was confirmed to have contracted Covid-19.
Lee Min-hyuk of K-pop boy band BtoB was confirmed to have contracted Covid-19.PHOTO: KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

SEOUL (THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - South Korea's music industry is on alert as a growing number of singers have tested positive for the coronavirus amid an ongoing fourth wave of infections.

Lee Min-hyuk of K-pop boy band BtoB was confirmed to have contracted Covid-19, the band's agency Cube Entertainment said on Saturday (July 17).

After Lee, 30, found out that his vocal coach tested positive for the coronavirus, he took two polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests and the results came out negative for both.

However, he started showing symptoms on Friday while undergoing quarantine because he was deemed a close contact of a Covid-19 patient.

"He started coughing and having a fever on Friday. So he went through the PCR test again at a public health centre. On Saturday he tested positive," the agency said in a statement.

"Lee is taking necessary measures according to the quarantine guidelines of the health authorities, and we will do our best for his fast recovery."

Two members of boy band Treasure, Doyoung and Junghwan, also tested positive for Covid-19, according to their agency YG Entertainment.

Doyoung's test results came back positive last Tuesday, while Junghwan's were negative at the time.

While in quarantine, Junghwan tested positive for Covid-19 using self-test kits. On Saturday, a positive PCR test confirmed his diagnosis.

Other Treasure members and staffers who worked with the boy band all tested negative, YG Entertainment added.

Trot singer Jang Min-ho, who rose to stardom after appearing on TV Chosun's audition programme Mr Trot, was confirmed to have been infected by the virus as well.

Jang's agency New Era Project on Saturday said all staff and employees who had come in contact with Jang will be tested and that they would take all necessary measures.

Jang, 43, came into contact with Olympic gold medallist Park Tae-hwan, who tested positive on Friday, during their earlier appearance on TV Chosun's variety show Ppong School.

Other top contestants of Mr Trot who appeared on the show with Jang, including Lim Young-woong, Young Tak, Lee Chan-won, Kim Hee-jae and Jung Dong-won, all tested negative for the coronavirus.