K-pop's global sensation BTS has been hit with a COVID-19 outbreak as two more members of the group of seven has tested positive upon their return to South Korea from the United States, where they gave their first pandemic-era concerts.
Rapper RM, 27, and vocalist Jin, 29, were diagnosed with COVID-19 a day after Suga, a songwriter and rapper for the group, tested positive, management company Big Hit Music said.
All three had completed second doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in August, the company said.
Since their 2013 debut, BTS have spearheaded a global K-pop craze with catchy, upbeat music and dances, as well as lyrics and social campaigns aimed at empowering young people.
The concerts in the U.S. were BTS' first in the country since 2019, when they toured across Asia, Europe and North America.
RM, whose real name is Kim Nam-joon, and Jin, whose real name is Kim Seok-jin, initially tested negative on returning to South Korea earlier this month.
RM, who tested positive as he prepared to leave mandatory quarantine, is showing no symptoms, Big Hit Music said.
Jin tested negative a second time as he left quarantine, but was later diagnosed after experiencing symptoms, which the company said were mild.
Neither Jin nor RM had any contact with other group members after their return to South Korea, the company said.
Suga, 28, whose real name is Min Yoon-gi, was confirmed to have contracted the virus on Friday during his self-quarantine upon his return home on Thursday, according to Bit Hit Music.
The band has had "a number of personal engagements in the United States" after holding their first in-person concerts in Los Angeles since the start of the pandemic.
Big Hit has said BTS would take a break over year-end holidays and prepare for a new concert and album.
The group won the top prize of artist of the year at the American Music Awards for the first time in November, and best pop song for their summer hit "Butter," among other awards.
As the pandemic swept the world, BTS postponed and then called off what would have been their biggest global tour involving nearly 40 concerts last year, resorting to online shows.
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