Tue. Jan 18th, 2022

More than 30 Samsung Electronics and SK Group officials tested positive after the fair, industry sources said.

More than 30 officials from major South Korean companies who attended the giant CES Technology Trade Show tested positive for COVID-19 in Las Vegas last week while in the United States, industry sources and one company said Wednesday.

About 20 Samsung Electronics officials and about six at SK Group, parent of energy firm SK Innovation and chipmaker SK Hynix, were among those who tested positive for the virus after attending CES, the sources said.

They refused to be identified because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Hyundai Heavy Industries said six of its employees who attended CES tested positive while in the U.S. and were quarantined, and some have since been released.

Meanwhile, “multiple” Hyundai Motor and Hyundai Mobis officials who attended CES also tested positive after arriving back in South Korea, South Korean newspaper JoongAng Ilbo reported, citing an unidentified industry source without specify the exact number of cases.

“Many Korean businessmen who attended CES … have now been confirmed infected with COVID-19,” Son Young-rae, a senior official of the South Korean Ministry of Health, said during a briefing.

“We are immediately contacting those who took part in the event and are conducting epidemiological investigations, but we are appealing to domestic business people or those in Korea who attended the event to undergo PCR tests as soon as possible,” he said. said.

Most of the Samsung officials who tested positive flew back to Korea on two charter flights from Nevada, which arrived late on Tuesday at Seoul time, and the remaining Samsung officials are expected to fly back on Wednesday, the South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported, citing unidentified industry sources.

Samsung officials are being moved to quarantine facilities in South Korea and most were asymptomatic or had mild symptoms, the newspaper said.

A spokesman for the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), CES’s operator, did not respond immediately.

Infections contracted overseas

Nevada state health authorities said: “Many new cases have had recent travel history, attended events and visited several places where they could have possibly contracted their infection.” They said they “have no evidence linking the recent rise in COVID-19 cases to CES”.

Samsung Electronics declined to confirm details of the case. It is said to have “taken a number of steps to protect the health and well-being of (CES) participants”, including the requirement of vaccines, mask mandates, social distancing protocols and the provision of tests for all employees throughout the week.

SK Group declined to confirm, citing its policy of not disclosing personal information. Hyundai Motor Group did not respond to a request for comment.

South Korea reported 381 cases of infections contracted overseas for Tuesday, a record, according to the Korean Agency for Disease Control and Prevention, bringing the daily number of infections across the country to 4,388.

Sun, an official from the Ministry of Health, said the increase in infections contracted overseas was mainly due to the spread of the Omicron variant, although the number of CES participants who tested positive did have an effect. has.

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