Hanoi chef creates coronavirus-themed burgers

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    Restaurant owner Hoang Tung holds up a "Corona burger" in Hanoi, Vietnam on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. As the world is fighting against the Covid-19 pandemic, the Vietnamese restaurant hopes to cheer people up with their new creation, in which the burger buns shape like a coronavirus. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/Hau Dinh)

    You’ve got to eat it, to beat it: That’s the philosophy of one Hanoi chef who is attempting to boost morale in the Vietnamese capital by selling green, coronavirus-themed burgers.

    Staying upbeat in the face of the pandemic, chef Hoang Tung and his team now spend their days moulding dozens of green-tea stained burger buns complete with little “crowns” made of dough to resemble microscopic images of the coronavirus.

    “We have this joke that if you are scared of something, you should eat it,” said Tung, at the Pizza Home takeaway shop in downtown Hanoi.

    “That’s why the coronavirus isn’t scary anymore after you eat a burger in the shape of the virus itself. That way of thinking spreads joy to others during this pandemic,” said Tung.

    The shop has sold around 50 burgers a day, despite the growing numbers of businesses in Vietnam which have been forced to close because of the virus.

    In mid-February, Vietnam said all known 16 Covid-19 cases at the time had recovered, but that changed after an influx of overseas visitors and returning Vietnamese citizens brought an uptick in cases.

    There are now 148 recorded cases of the virus in Vietnam, but no reported deaths.

    Authorities in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have ordered that all non-essential businesses should close although some food outlets, including Tung’s takeaway shop, are still open.

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