|Actors Kim Soo-hyun and Jeon So-min and K-pop singer Kim Woo-seok have postponed fan events as the highly contagious coronavirus infection hit Korea. Korea Times file|
By Lee Gyu-lee
Celebrities are postponing fan events and broadcasters may stop inviting the public to the taping of shows as precautionary measures against the coronavirus outbreak amid escalating fears of the disease's spread in Korea.
Actors Kim Soo-hyun and Jeon So-min and K-pop singer Kim Woo-seok have decided to delay fan events. State-run broadcaster KBS said it might discontinue opening its shows to the public and record them in studios without audiences.
Actor Kim had a fan meeting scheduled in eastern Seoul on Feb. 9 as a promotional event for a travel agency he models for. Over 1,000 fans from around the world were invited. His agency did not provide an alternative date.
Jeon canceled Saturday's book signing for her upcoming essay, and singer Kim suspended his fan meeting ticketing schedule, slated to open Thursday.
KBS also released safety guidelines for audiences, asking people to wear masks. They were told to expect a temperature check to detect fever.
It issued this warning: "We will send away any audience member who is suspected of causing problems."
Cable channel TV Chosun took an extra step to prevent any public backlash over its programming.
In Tuesday's episode of the channel's reality show "Taste of Wife," actress Ham So-won's Chinese mother-in-law was seen telling her that she will be flying to Korea from China. A caption appeared underneath, declaring: "This video was shot before the Wuhan coronavirus epidemic."
|Fans want K-pop band NCT Dream to cancel its visit to Macau. Korea Times file|
Meanwhile, many K-pop fans are raising concerns for singers' travel abroad and are calling on them to cancel global events.
Boy band NCT Dream is holding concerts on Feb. 7 and 8 in Macau, where seven coronavirus infections were reported as of Jan. 30. Fans are worried about the visit and have started uploading hashtags calling on the group to cancel it.
Its agency SM Entertainment said it is in talks to adjust the schedule but the Lunar New Year holiday made it difficult to contact the local agent in Macau.
JYP group GOT7 is scheduled to appear in Thailand, Singapore and Macau from Feb. 15. Boy band SF9 is holding a fan event in Qingdao, China, in March.
According to Chinese officials and the World Health Organization, more than 7,700 cases of coronavirus infections were confirmed worldwide by Thursday.