by Peter Cowan
Since Việt Nam 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 here.
Update: After the publication of this article, on March 9 Khổng Minh Tuấn, Deputy Director of CDC Hanoi, told e-paper Zing.vn that the woman did in fact provide an inaccurate travel history upon arrival in Hà Nội.
Watch our video on how Việt Nam 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. VNS