Hanoi: Home-made videos featuring a catchy Vietnamese song and an accompanying dance about the necessity of hand-washing in view of the coronavirus crisis have racked up more than 2 million views on the video app TikTok.
Taking the tune from the pop song 'Ghen' ('Jealous') in Vietnamese by singers Erik and Min, the country's Ministry of Health released an animated video with lyrics telling its citizens to “push back the virus Corona, Corona”.
The song provides guidance on how to prevent infection, by washing hands by “rub, rub, rubbing evenly” and limiting “visits to crowded places”.
The unlikely earworm by a usually staid communist government drew hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube, and was also featured on HBO's comedic news show 'Last Week Tonight', with host John Oliver calling it a “genuine club-banger”.
The trend began with dancer and internet personality Qang Dang, who has nearly 300,000 followers on TikTok and Instagram performed it along with another dancer with a light-hearted swagger on a street with food vendors.
It was tagged with the government-issued hashtag #ghencovychallenge, and Dang's original video has been viewed more than 1.1 million times.
“We want the song to give fire and reduce tension for those... leading this fight, including experts, doctors, medical workers and millions of labourers who are on the frontline to fight this epidemic daily,” the health ministry posted in the video's description.
Communist-run Vietnam has a booming youth demographic, with two-thirds of its 97 million citizens under the age of 35.
It has 16 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, though it says all patients have recovered and been discharged.
The country, which shares a porous border with China, has taken great measures in the fight against the virus, including putting a small village an hour from Hanoi under quarantine after five confirmed cases emerged from there....