Two men hauled before Hanoi police for spreading Covid-19 rumors

By Pham Du   March 21, 2020 | 10:00 pm PT
Two men hauled before Hanoi police for spreading Covid-19 rumors
Medical staff sterilize a street in Hanoi on March 19, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh.
The Hanoi police have questioned two men for posting fake news about the Covid-19 situation in the capital.

The two, 22 and 25, claimed on their Facebook page, alluding to an emergency meeting the city people’s committee president Nguyen Duc Chung held with various departments, that the epidemic situation in Hanoi "is spinning out of control."

It was then shared by many others, causing panic and confusion among the public.

When summoned by the police, they removed their post, admitted to acting illegally and promised not to repeat it.

Hanoi police said they will decide their penalty against the two men later.

They warned the public not to share unconfirmed information about Covid-19 and cause confusion in the community.

The situation is under control and people should stay calm and do not have to stockpile supplies, they said.

Hanoi has the highest number of Covid-19 patients in hospital now in the country: 29 out of the nation's 77. 17 other patients have recovered and left hospitals.

Most of the current patients, now hospitalized in 11 cities and provinces, are returnees from Europe and the U.S. or people who came into close contact with them.

Vietnam's Cybersecurity Law prohibits the spreading of incorrect information which causes confusion among people, damages socio-economic activities, creates difficulties for authorities and those performing their duty.

The country has been cracking down on people spreading rumors about the Covid-19 developments. Several people, including celebrities, have received cash fines for sharing incorrect information on social media.

The Covid-19 pandemic has spread to 188 countries and territories, claiming more than 13,000 lives so far, with Itaty (4,825 deaths) having surpassed China (3,261) as the most deadly Covid-19 epicenter.

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