BTS, UNVS, and ‘Mr. Trot’ / Photos: Big Hit Entertainment, CHITWN MUSIC, TV Chosun

As a result of South Korea raising its alert level for the COVID-19 virus to the highest level, a number of events scheduled for today (February 24) have been canceled, including BTS’s press conference, the live recording of the finals for Mr. Trot, and UNVS’s showcase. 

On February 23, BTS’s label, Big Hit Entertainment, made the decision to do a live YouTube broadcast in lieu of a press conference in order to minimize risk in the face of the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus in South Korea. Bit Hit announced: “Instead of inviting reporters to our press conference, we have decided to stream the conference live via YouTube due to the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). We will also be extending the press conference to answer questions live.” 

“The spread of the COVID-19 virus has made it necessary to limit gatherings of large crowds, and as the decision was made to actively cooperate with the government’s anti-virus measures, we ask for everyone’s understanding,” the label added.

TV Chosun also announced that they would be canceling the live recording of the Mr. Trot finals. The producers of the show stated, “In light of the government’s decision to raise the alert level for the COVID-19 virus to the highest level, the recording of the Mr. Trot finals, which was scheduled for today (February 24), has been canceled over concerns of the further spreading of the virus and secondary infection.”

They added, “Taking into account that the event would bring together a large number of unspecified individuals in the midst of the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus, and the need to put safety first, we have come to this decision after much consideration. The decision to move forward with the recording of the finals will depend upon the development of the COVID-19 virus.”

K-pop group UNVS also chose to cancel their showcase scheduled for the 24th at 5 p.m. following the elevation of the alert level. The group’s label, CHITWN MUSIC, stated, “We have come to this decision after careful consideration, following the government’s recommendation to refrain from holding large-scale gatherings in light of the surge of the COVID-19 virus. Canceling the showcase on the day for which it was scheduled became necessary in order to protect the health and safety of the journalists, artists, and on-site staff.”