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Debunking six myths about Vietnam's 17th victim of COVID-19

Since Vietnam reported its 17th COVID-19 case on Friday night in a woman who returned from a trip to Europe, fake news and rumours have spread like wildfire on social media. 



The young woman is the first person in Hà Nội to have been infected and has suffered vicious online abuse, with many commenters slandering her with easily debunked information.

Myth – She lied about her travel history to avoid being quarantined

There is no evidence she lied about her travel history in Europe or sought to avoid quarantine. Her full travel history is available in the box below.

Watch our video on how VN is fighting the virus with a song and a dance


Myth – She left Italy to avoid the outbreak there

According to travel records released by the Government, the young woman left Italy on February 20, at which point there had only been three confirmed cases in the European country. There were also no medical entry restrictions into Viet Nam from Italy at this point.

Myth - She went to bars and clubs around Hà Nội after returning

The woman went straight home and isolated herself upon arriving in Hà Nội. After developing a fever and coughing a lot, she went to Hồng Ngọc Hospital on Yên Ninh Street on March 5, then later that day was admitted to Campus No.2 of the Hanoi Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases

Myth - She went to the UNIQLO store opening in Hà Nội

The woman was admitted to Hanoi Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases at 6pm on March 5, and UNIQLO opened in Hà Nội at about 9.30am on March 6. She could not have attended.

A photo circulating online that has been claimed to show the woman attending a pre-party for the store opening the previous day is not her.

Myth - Five family members and a driver are infected

There has been no official announcement as to whether anyone the woman contacted has been infected.

UPDATE: Since the publication of this article, the woman's aunt and the family driver also tested positive for the virus.

Myth - Times City T18 has been quarantined

Times City T18 is not currently under quarantine. 

Woman in Hà Nội tests positive for SARS-CoV-2

A 27-year-old woman in Hà Nội tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 after returning from Europe, the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology confirmed on Friday night.

Nguyễn Hồng Nhung, hotel manager, was reported to have arrived in London on February 16 to visit her family and travelled to Milan, Italy two days later.

On February 20, she returned to London and took a train to Paris five days later, met her older sister who was confirmed to test positive for the virus and came back to London on February 26.

During her stay in Europe, the patient had contact with many people who showed symptoms of coughing and sneezing.

She started to cough on February 29 but did not have a health check-up.

She took a Vietnam Airlines flight back to Hà Nội and landed in the city in the early morning of March 2 with no fever.

After immigration, she was taken by her family’s car to her house at 125 Trúc Bạch Street, Ba Đình District.

She was reported to have worn a face mask while travelling from the airport to her house.

After suffering a fever, she had a check-up at Hồng Ngọc Hospital at 55 Yên Ninh, Ba Đình District and was diagnosed with pneumonia.

She was moved to the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases based in Đông Anh District and tested positive for the virus.

Since coming back from Europe, the patient was reported to have self-quarantined at home, worn a face mask, limited contact with relatives and did not go out.

People staying with her during this time were her parents, two helpers, two cleaners and a driver.

She is being quarantined at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Đông Anh District.

People having close contact with the patient in her house, on flights, at Hồng Ngọc Hospital at 55 Yên Ninh Street where the patient had health check-up are being monitored.

The flight back to Việt Nam had 197 passengers and crew members.

Eight people – her father, uncle, cleaners and a driver – had close contact with her at home.

Eighteen people at Hồng Ngọc Hospital who had contact with the patient have so far had no symptoms of fever or coughing.

Disinfectants have been sprayed at the patient’s house, Hồng Ngọc Hospital and houses of people in contact with Nhung.

People in close contact with the patient have been quarantined and tested for the virus.

At an urgent meeting on Friday night, the city’s Department of Health proposed the health ministry and immigration management department provide a list of people on the same flight with the patient to follow up on their health status. VNS

Peter Cowan 


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