About 70 South Korean nationals who attended the large CES tech commerce present in Las Vegas final week examined positive for COVID-19, well being authorities of the Asian nation mentioned on Wednesday.
These included some executives and workers of main South Korean corporations, in accordance with business sources and a company official.
About 20 individuals from Samsung Electronics and about six at SK Group, mother or father of vitality agency SK Innovation and chipmaker SK Hynix, have been amongst those that examined positive for the virus after attending CES, the sources mentioned.
Hyundai Heavy Industries mentioned six of its staff who attended CES examined positive whereas within the United States and have been quarantined. Some have since been launched.
“Multiple” Hyundai Motor and Hyundai Mobis staff who attended CES additionally examined positive after arriving again in South Korea, South Korean newspaper JoongAng Ilbo reported, citing an unidentified business supply with out specifying the precise variety of instances.
The 70 attendees who examined positive are all South Korean nationals, in accordance with the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency. Some 340 South Korean corporations participated in CES, it added.
The instances threat dealing a blow to South Korea’s COVID-19 management, after the nation had simply introduced down every day variety of infections from file highs in December by restoring robust social distancing guidelines and extensively adopting vaccine passports at public places.
“We are promptly contacting those who participated in the event and conducting epidemiological investigations,” Son Young-rae, a senior South Korean well being ministry official, advised a briefing, “but we urge domestic businesspeople or those who are in Korea that attended the event to undergo PCR tests as soon as possible,” he mentioned.
Most of the Samsung officers who examined positive have been flown again to Korea from Nevada in two chartered flights, arriving late on Tuesday Seoul time, and the remaining Samsung officers are anticipated to be flown again on Wednesday, South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported, citing unidentified business sources.
The Samsung officers are being moved to quarantine services in South Korea and most have been asymptomatic or have gentle signs, the paper mentioned.
A spokesperson for Consumer Technology Association (CTA), CES’ operator, didn’t have a right away response.
Nevada state well being authorities mentioned, “Many new cases have had recent travel history, attended events, and have visited multiple locations where they could potentially have acquired their infection.” They mentioned they do “not have evidence linking the recent surge in COVID-19 cases with CES.”
Samsung Electronics declined to substantiate particulars of the instances. It mentioned it “took a number of steps to protect the health and well-being of (CES) attendees”, together with requiring vaccines, masks mandates, social distancing protocols and offering testing for all staff all through the week.
SK Group declined to touch upon the instances, citing its coverage of not disclosing personal data. Hyundai Motor Group didn’t reply to a number of requests for remark.
The sources declined to be recognized as they weren’t approved to talk to media.
South Korea reported 381 instances of infections contracted abroad for Tuesday, a file, in accordance with the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, bringing the every day variety of infections throughout the nation to 4,388.
A well being ministry official mentioned the rise of infections contracted abroad is seen primarily as a result of unfold of the Omicron variant, though the variety of CES attendees who examined positive did have some impact.