AKB48 member Kayoko Takita has been confirmed to have been infected with coronavirus. According to the idol group’s management company, the 23-year-old has been admitted to hospital for treatment.
The announcement was made on Sunday on the group’s official blog, where it was revealed that Takita came down with a fever of 37.2 degrees Celsius on July 9, which returned to normal the following day. The singer voluntarily refrained from going out during this time and avoided contact with others.
After noticing a change in her ability to taste and smell on July 11, Takita received a PCR test on July 18. The following day, she received a positive test result, and after notifying AKB48 management, it was decided that she would be hospitalised from Monday, under advice from the public health center.
Takita’s sense of taste and smell has returned and she is said to be suffering no symptoms such as fever or malaise. However, the management company is taking all necessary precautions to ensure the health of their singer, who has been a member of the group since 2013.
Though Takita had been working remotely from home since April, she did come into contact with another member of the group, 18-year-old Makiho Tatsuya, on July 2. Tatsuya is confirmed to be in good health and reporting no symptoms of the virus, but has been instructed to self-isolate at home.
Management says no other group members or staff have had any physical contact with Takita or Tatsuya within the past month. However, they will be seeking guidance from the public health center on how to proceed and Tatsuya will receive a PCR test if deemed necessary.
AKB48 is arguably the most famous idol group in Japan, with over 100 members spread out over five teams, plus a roster of junior “trainee” members. The group regularly performs at the AKB48 theater in Tokyo’s Akihabara district, where performances are still scheduled to continue despite Takita’s positive test result, as neither she nor Tatsuya have been inside the premises recently.
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