South Korean Executives Get COVID After Las Vegas Tech Show | Economy

More than 30 officials from Samsung Electronics and the SK Group tested positive after the show, industry sources say.

More than 30 executives from large South Korean companies who attended the giant CES tech show in Las Vegas last week tested positive for COVID-19 in the United States, industry and company sources said on Wednesday.

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

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

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

Meanwhile, “several” officials from Hyundai Motor and Hyundai Mobis who attended CES also tested positive after returning to South Korea, South Korean newspaper JoongAng Ilbo reported, citing an unidentified industry source without specifying. the exact number of cases.

“Many Korean businessmen who attended CES (…) are now confirmed to be infected with COVID-19,” Son Young-rae, a senior official at the South Korean Ministry of Health, said at the meeting. ‘a briefing.

“We are promptly contacting those who attended the event and conducting epidemiological investigations, but urge domestic businessmen or those in Korea who attended the event to undergo PCR testing as soon as possible.” , did he declare.

Most of the Samsung officials who tested positive returned to Korea from Nevada on two chartered flights, arriving late Tuesday, Seoul time, and other Samsung officials are expected to be repatriated on Wednesday, South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported, citing unidentified information. industry sources.

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

A spokesperson for the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), the operator of CES, had no immediate response.

Infections contracted abroad

Nevada state health officials said, “Many new cases have had recent travel histories, attended events, and visited multiple locations where they could potentially have contracted their infection.” They said they had “no evidence linking the recent increase in COVID-19 cases to CES.”

Samsung Electronics declined to confirm details of the cases. He said he “has taken a number of steps to protect the health and well-being of participants (CES),” including requiring vaccines, mask warrants, social distancing protocols and providing 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 multiple requests for comment.

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

Health ministry official Son said the increase in infections acquired overseas is mainly due to the spread of the Omicron variant, although the number of CES attendees who tested positive had some effect.

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