BTS cancels South Korea concerts as country’s COVID-19 cases rise to 2,022

Click to play video: 'BTS’s Beatles-inspired performance at the Ed Sullivan Theatre on ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’' BTS’s Beatles-inspired performance at the Ed Sullivan Theatre on ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’
During an appearance on 'The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,' K-Pop sensation BTS performed their latest hit, 'Boy with Luv' at the iconic Ed Sullivan Theatre in New York City. – May 16, 2019

South Korea reported 256 new coronavirus cases on Friday, bringing the total number of infected in the country to 2,022, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said.

Of the new cases, 182 were in the southeastern city of Daegu, the location of a church at the center of South Korea’s outbreak, the KCDC said in a statement. The death toll from the virus stood at 13, unchanged from the day earlier.

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The sharp increase in daily tally over the past week led to a slump in South Korean stocks on Friday, setting them on course for the worst weekly performance since 2011, following a plunge in the U.S. stock market.

The outbreak has prompted South Korean boy band BTS to cancel its scheduled April concerts in Seoul, according to its music label, Big Hit Entertainment.

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COVID-19: South Korea launches ‘drive-thru’ roadside testing facilities – Feb 27, 2020

BTS had scheduled a “MAP OF THE SOUL TOUR – SEOUL” tour for April 11, 12, 18 and 19 at Seoul’s Olympic Stadium.

A statement from Big Hit Entertainment said the COVID-19 “outbreak has made it impossible at this time to predict the scale of the outbreak during the dates of the concert in April.”

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Korean Air Lines on Friday said it will measure temperatures of all passengers for flights to the U.S. and refuse passengers whose temperature exceeds 37.5 degrees Celsius (99.5 degrees Fahrenheit).

The move comes after a cabin crew member tested positive for coronavirus on Tuesday, prompting the firm to shut its office near Incheon International Airport where the crew briefing room was located.

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READ MORE: Coronavirus worries grow globally as WHO reports more cases outside China

China, where the coronavirus started, has borne the brunt of the outbreak, recording nearly 80,000 infections and more than 2,700 deaths. The virus has spread to another 44 countries, where around 3,500 cases and 54 deaths have been reported.

—Reporting by Sangmi Cha; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Christopher Cushing. With a file from the Associated Press

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