The Vietnamese government released a catchy music video on February 22 in an attempt to combat the COVID-19 outbreak by promoting preventive measures like handwashing and avoiding crowded areas. Their strategy worked – the clip, based on a local pop song, went viral on TikTok and a new dance challenge was born on social media. Now hundreds of young Vietnamese social media users are making their own videos showing off preventive measures.

The Vietnamese government’s smash hit "Ghen Cô Vy'" ("Jealous coronavirus”) has already garnered more than 700,000 views and has been picked up by media outlets around the world.

What was the magic formula for their viral video? The clip features dedicated citizens carrying out recommended hygiene practices to combat little fluorescent green cartoon versions of the virus. The song is based on a famous V-pop (Vietnamese pop) song called "Ghen" ["Jealous"], by singers Erik and Min. The lyrics have been rewritten to advise people on good hygiene: “Wash our hands, scrub, scrub, scrub them! Don’t touch your eyes, your nose, your mouth! Avoid places where there’s a crowd! Let’s resist corona, corona!”

According to an article in the US magazine Billboard, the lyrics were re-written by producer Khac Hung, in collaboration with the National Institute of Occupational and Environmental Health. The original singers performed the new version.

A version of the song with English subtitles.
The video was instant inspiration for Vietnamese social media users, who launched the "#Ghencovychallenge" on Tiktok. Hundreds of young Vietnamese people have posted their own dance videos featuring sweet moves like washing their hands.


Cùng nâng cao và bảo vệ sức khỏe bằng cách lan tỏa ##vudieuruatay Bạn sẵn sàng tham gia cùng Đăng chứ? ???? ##quangdang ##tiktokvietnam

♬ Ghen Cô Vy (Vũ Điệu Rửa Tay) - Khắc Hưng, MIN, ERIK


Còn ai chưa làm theo ##vudieuruatay nữa không nào? Cover và tag Đăng ngay biết đâu sẽ được 'quà' đó ???? ##quangdang ##tiktokvietnam

♬ Ghen Cô Vy (Vũ Điệu Rửa Tay) #2 - Khắc Hưng, MIN, ERIK
For the time being, 16 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Vietnam, which shares 1,300 kilometres of border with China. The border town of Son Loi, which has 10,000 residents, was placed in quarantaine on February 13.