JKT48’s Flora tests positive for coronavirus, no spread to rest of girl group

A member of popular idol group JKT48 has contracted COVID-19, becoming one of the latest Indonesian celebrities to do so. Thankfully, she’s making inroads towards recovery and the disease did not spread to other members and staff.

In a statement released on Monday, the group confirmed that member Flora Shafiqa Riyadi had tested positive for coronavirus last Thursday. Her last contact with other JKT48 members and staff was on Sept. 11, and she had not engaged in any activities related to the girl group since then. 

Flora reportedly began experiencing symptoms such as nausea, fever, and losing her sense of smell on Sept. 19, and she was then referred to a hospital to be tested. Following her diagnosis, all members of JKT48 and staff took coronavirus tests, results of which have come back negative. 

“Currently, Flora’s is in the process of recovering. Her body temperature as well as her sense of smell have returned to normal. But she’s still undergoing treatment and isolation at the hospital,” the statement reads.

JKT48’s spokesman Rino Sutopo also reaffirmed Flora’s condition today.

The 15-year-old singer recently took to Twitter to inform her fans on her latest update.

“Hello everyone, how are you doing? I’d like to thank you, when my condition was not well, you always cheered me up and prayed for me. I’m so happy, I’m getting better, but I still have to be hospitalized. Everyone please pray for me so I can recover soon and be able to do my activities as usual. I hope you all stay healthy at home! Keep your spirit up, everyone,” Flora tweeted.

Flora was initially scheduled for a video call session with fans on Monday, but the event was cancelled. Meanwhile, other members of JKT48 have carried on with their activities from home while Jakarta implements the Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB) protocol. 

JKT48 was formed in 2011 as the sister group of Japanese idol group-slash-social phenomenon AKB48. Yasushi Akimoto, AKB48’s producer and creator, created the girl group with their own theater where they perform almost every day.

The group is big on the concept of getting up close and personal with fans, with one of their biggest draws being the “handshake” events in which fans can meet and greet the members in person.

The name “AKB48” derives from the location of their theater in Akihabara, Tokyo. Other than Indonesia, Akimoto has since expanded the concept to several countries such as China (SNH48 for Shanghai, which later formed sister groups in other cities such as BEJ48 for Beijing), Thailand (BNK48), and the Philippines (MNL48), among others.

AKB48 and its concept groups are divided into different teams, each with their own captain, setlists of songs, and persona. As for JKT48 itself, it’s divided into three groups called Team J, Team KIII, and Team T, the latter of which Flora is a part of.


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