The singer Yoonhak from the Korean group Supernova, formed in 2007, is the first Korean celebrity to be officially diagnosed with COVID-19.
Once Yoonhak was diagnosed on 1st April, the places he visited have become public knowledge. And it has recently been reported that just before he started showing symptoms, he met up with a female acquaintance who works at one of the “adult entertainment establishments” in the Gangnam area.
These establishments sell strong liquor and offer private rooms where sexual activities occur, though they do not usually admit it to be the case. This particular venue is known to have 100 members of staff working there, and dozens of private rooms underground. These rooms are kept very private and shut while the visitors are there, with the staff moving from room to room, so one virus carrier among the staff could do a lot of harm to a great number of people.
Yoonhak says that he never went into the venue and privately met the said worker in his car, but a great panic is caused by this revelation, nevertheless. Shortly afterwards the encounter, she was tested positive for the coronavirus as well. Her roommate, also a worker at a similar establishment, has also been tested positive.
It is impossible to tell how many people Yoonhak’s “friend” came into contact with, although the venue has provided the health authorities with a list of about 100 names. It is obvious that this kind of business will not reveal a lot of the names. It is also well known that celebrities, sports stars and other well-known persons visit these places often; they would definitely not want to be openly associated with their favorite venues of entertainment.
Yoonhak returned from Japan on 24th March and started showing symptoms a couple of days later. While it is now mandatory for anyone having been abroad to keep to themselves for two weeks and avoid going out, at that time it was only a strong recommendation. And it seems that the singer had refused to take it. He went and met the woman in question, and she in turn is known to have worked 9 hours the following day at the Gangnam venue.
The health authorities have recommended anyone who visited the establishment to get tested for COVID-19. One journal estimates at least 500 people to be at risk. We may be seeing the beginning of an outbreak in certain circles of the Korean society.