Vietnam celebrities asked to explain inaccurate coronavirus posts

By Tam Giao   February 1, 2020 | 01:24 am PT
Vietnam celebrities asked to explain inaccurate coronavirus posts
Actress Ngo Thanh Van (L) and actress Cat Phuong. Photo courtesy of Van and Phuong.
The HCMC Department of Information and Communication has asked 3 celebrities to explain their inaccurate information on the nCoV outbreak.

On Friday, the department asked Ngo Thanh Van, producer and lead actress of action flick "Hai Phuong" (Furie), actress Cat Phuong and singer Dam Vinh Hung to explain their actions in "posting wrong news about the coronavirus epidemic on social media, causing confusion for the community."

The department said it would strictly punish those who post inaccurate information about the coronavirus outbreak. 

Van is in Japan and will meet with the department on February 3.

On Friday morning, Van said on her two-million subscriber fan page that there were flights from Wuhan, China to Vietnam on Thursday. "Stop them. Block them. We have to protect our people and children," she wrote.

The information shared by Van was wrong since the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam had suspended all flights to and from coronavirus-hit areas in China starting Wednesday.

The actress’s information was also questioned and opposed by many of her fans, who told her to read and share confirmed news from reliable sources.

In response to these reactions, Van’s post was quickly removed. She then posted an apology: "I am just anxious and worried about people’s health. I am sorry for the mistake. Please take care of your health and be careful."

Actress Cat Phuong had said that the epidemic was spreading to HCMC’s District 1 and would find its way to other districts.

Singer Dam Vinh Hung stated that two Chinese nationals who got infected and was treated at the Cho Ray Hospital had died. 

In fact, one of the two Chinese nationals, a father and son duo, had recovered by Tuesday morning, while the father is recovering gradually.

Vietnam has so far recorded six confirmed cases of infection: two Chinese nationals, four Vietnamese people, including two returning from Wuhan, and a woman who was working as a receptionist at a local hotel in the central town of Nha Trang that the two Chinese had checked into.

In China, Chinese authorities said 259 people had died as of Saturday morning out of more than 11,000 confirmed cases of the disease. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a global public health emergency on Thursday.

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