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Vietnam’s anti-COVID-19 song excites ‘Last Week Tonight’ host, int’l viewers

Tuesday, March 03, 2020, 20:22 GMT+7
Vietnam’s anti-COVID-19 song excites ‘Last Week Tonight’ host, int’l viewers
A screenshot of the song 'Ghen Co Vy' being featured on the Last Week Tonight program on HBO

A Vietnamese parody song to educate people on how to keep good personal hygiene and protect oneself from the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has captured international attention after it was featured in a popular American television program. 

The music video for the parody song entitled ‘Ghen Co Vy,’ whose lyrics were rewritten from a popular Vietnamese pop song, made an appearance in the late-night talk and news satire television program ‘Last Week Tonight’ hosted by comedian John Oliver on HBO on Sunday. 

Ghen Co Vy – a compound of the original song’s title ‘Ghen’ (Jealousy) and the Vietnamese pronunciation of ‘CoV,’ which is short for coronavirus – was produced by two young Vietnamese singers Min and Erik in collaboration with musician Khac Hung at the request of the Vietnam National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health under the Ministry of Health.

The song gives instructions on a set of do’s and don’ts, such as washing hands, avoiding crowded places, and cleaning personal spaces, to protect themselves from the viral disease that has affected people in more than 60 countries worldwide. 

“Vietnam, for instance, moved quickly and among other things produced this incredible public information video about how to limit [the disease’s] spread through proper hygiene,” John Oliver said as he introduced the song. 

The vibrant music video was then broadcast with decently-translated English subtitles. 

“The song is incredible!” Oliver stressed in excitement following the broadcast. 

The host added that the song has even become a dance challenge among Vietnamese users on TikTok, a Chinese video-sharing social networking service. 

After hogging the limelight on the Last Week Tonight show, the Vietnamese music video saw its number of views on YouTube slightly increase to more than 750,000 at the time of writing.

It was also liked more than 26,000 times and received many applauding comments in English from international viewers in the comment section. 

“Last Week Tonight brought me here,” a user named Andrew Soleyn commented. 

“John Oliver took me here, and I'm all for it. Gonna send this to all my Vietnamese friends,” Jacob Larson, another user, wrote in a comment. 

“Who wrote this? They should write for Eurovision,” the account allthings dg remarked. 

A screenshot of the song “Ghen Co Vy” being featured on the Last Week Tonight program on HBO

A screenshot of the song 'Ghen Co Vy' being featured on the 'Last Week Tonight' program on HBO

COVID-19, which first surfaced in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019, has infected over 91,300 people and killed more than 3,100 globally as of Tuesday afternoon, according to the South China Morning Post

South Korea has confirmed 28 deaths from over 5,000 positive cases so far, becoming the biggest cluster of infections outside China. 

To date, Vietnam has reported 16 cases of the viral infection, including 13 Vietnamese, one Vietnamese American, and two Chinese. 

All of them have fully recovered and been discharged from the hospital. The country has recorded no new infection since February 13. 

The country was lauded by the WHO for having responded well to the COVID-19 epidemic in a statement released by the organization recently. 

While the U.N. health agency spoke highly of Vietnam’s ability to address urgent public health issues, it also urged the Southeast Asian country to stay on high alert and be ready to respond should more infections be detected.  

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