K-pop star Kim Jae-joong apologizes after declaring April Fools Day that he has a coronavirus

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Kim, who is a singer in the boy band JYJ, told his Instagram followers on Wednesday that he had been hospitalized after catching the virus, writing: “I am infected with the Covid-19 virus. “

In a now-deleted article, the pop star said he had ignored government warnings.

April Fool’s Day is celebrated on April 1 of each year and is traditionally a day when people prank themselves.

Many of the star’s 1.9 million followers expressed outrage at the remarks, with a social media user writing: “A joke on the coronavirus is not funny but childish and foolish. “

South Korean singer Kim Jae-joong apologized for his message, where he told fans that he had caught a coronavirus after ignoring government warnings.

The singer later apologized for his message, admitting that his judgment “was not fair.”

However, Kim’s actions sparked anger – a petition calling for the singer to be punished was posted on the president’s office website and was signed by more than 13,000 people at 5:20 p.m. local time. [4:20am ET] Thursday.

In a statement posted on Instagram, the star said he was trying to raise public awareness of the virus, which has killed at least 169 people in South Korea and made nearly 10,000 sick.

Asia may be right on coronaviruses and face masks, and the rest of the world is getting closer

“First of all, I sincerely apologize to those who have been damaged and to those whose administrative work has been hindered due to a message I wrote on social networks and Covid-19”, Kim wrote.

The singer added that he “wanted to pass on the dangers of this moment to people who are not listening when there are big and small warnings on various media and on the Internet”.

Interviewed Thursday by a reporter on Kim’s sanction for the job, Yoon Tae-ho, director general of public health policies at the Ministry of Health and Welfare, said: an epidemiological investigator or medical personnel during the epidemiological investigation or treatment may be punished in accordance with the law on the prevention of infectious diseases. “

But he said that Kim’s case did not fall under these conditions.

“If there are other parties to punish, (we) will have to see, but it is difficult to punish under the Infectious Disease Prevention Law,” Yoon added at the press conference.

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