Three celebrities cough up $430 each for fake coronavirus posts

By Trung Son   February 12, 2020 | 05:59 am PT
Three celebrities cough up $430 each for fake coronavirus posts
Ngo Thanh Van, Cat Phuong, Dam Vinh Hung (L to R) express regret over coronavirus fake news. Photo by VnExpress. Photo by VnExpress.
Actress Ngo Thanh Van, singer Dam Vinh Hung and actress Cat Phuong were fined VND10 million ($430) each for posting inaccurate information on Covid-19.

The punishment was announced Wednesday by Ho Chi Minh City’s Department of Information and Communication, a week after the trio admitted their mistakes and made public apologies.

Their actions "badly affect social order," the department said. Under the current regulation, those individuals who post fake news on social media would be slapped with fines of up to VND15 million ($650).

However, the department said the three celebrities have been handed lighter punishments as their mistakes were due to impatience, failure to verify information and for their quick response in removing fake posts.

On January 31, Ngo Thanh Van, producer and lead actress of action flick "Hai Phuong" (Furie), stated via her two-million subscriber fan page flights operated from Wuhan, China to Vietnam on January 30 while Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam had suspended all flights to and from coronavirus-hit areas since January 29. The post was subsequently removed and Van apologized to fans.

On January 26, Dam Vinh Hung shocked the online community for stating two Chinese nationals infected and treated at Cho Ray Hospital had died while the Chinese father-and-son due were still receiving treatment at the hospital.

He removed the post and made a public apology to Vietnamese users.

Actress Cat Phuong also apologized to her Facebook fans for stating the epidemic had spread to HCMC’s District 1 and would find its way to other districts.

As of Tuesday, Vietnam had reported 15 confirmed cases of infection. Seven people have so far been discharged from hospital after making a full recovery.

The global death toll has climbed to 1,115 and the number of infections to 45,051. Over 4,000 patients have recovered.

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