South Korean executives contract coronavirus after Las Vegas tech trade show

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

More than 30 major Korean company officials attended the Giants CES Technology Trade Show Industry sources and a company said on Wednesday that a person who tested positive for COVID-19 in Las Vegas last week was in the United States.

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

They declined to be named because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

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

Meanwhile, South Korean newspaper JoongAng Ilbo, citing an unnamed industry source, said “multiple” Hyundai Motor and Hyundai Mobis officials who attended CES also tested positive after returning to South Korea, but did not specify. State the 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 South Korea’s health ministry, said at a briefing.

“We are swiftly contacting those attending the event and conducting epidemiological investigations, but we urge domestic businessmen or Koreans attending the event to take PCR tests as soon as possible,” he said.

Most of the Samsung officials who tested positive have returned to South Korea from Nevada on two chartered flights, arriving late Tuesday Seoul time, the South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported, citing unnamed identities. The rest of the Samsung officials are expected to arrive on Wednesday. Fly back to Korea. Industry sources.

Samsung officials are being transferred to isolation facilities in South Korea, and most have no or mild symptoms, the paper said.

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

Overseas infection cases

“Many of the new cases have a history of recent travel, attended events, and have been to multiple locations where they may have been infected,” Nevada health authorities said. They said they “have no evidence that the recent surge in COVID-19 cases is linked to CES.” .

Samsung Electronics declined to confirm details of the case. It said “a number of measures were taken to protect the health and well-being of (CES) attendees,” including requiring vaccinations, mandatory mask wearing, social distancing, and testing all employees for 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 reported 381 overseas infections on Tuesday, a record high, taking the national daily tally to 4,388, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Sun said the increase in overseas infections was largely due to the spread of the Omicron variant, although the number of CES attendees who tested positive did have some impact.