Man Edits His Negative Covid-19 Test Result To Positive As Prank, Gets Fined

3 minutes reading time

Man edits his Covid-19 test from negative to positive as prank


Taking a Covid-19 test is probably not something many of us look forward to. Most often, we only take it out of necessity, such as when we face risks of infection or before traveling.

And needless to say, we all hope our tests come back negative.

Apparently, though, that doesn’t apply to this man. On receiving his negative Covid-19 test result, he changed it to positive and posted the edited picture online as a prank. It would seem he didn’t anticipate the legal consequences he later had to face.

Here’s how the story plays out.


The man edits his Covid-19 test result as a joke


edits covid-19 test
Photo for illustrative purposes only

Image credit: Lao Động

Yesterday, VNExpress reported on the case of Nguyễn Văn Tú, a 28-year-old man living in Ninh Bình Province, Vietnam.

According to the report, on 8th August, Tú went to a private medical facility in the area to take a Covid-19 test. Upon receiving the result, which showed he was negative for the virus, the man went on to take a picture of the paper, then used an photo editing software to change the result to a positive one.

Later, he posted the edited picture on several groups on Zalo, a popular communication platform used by many Vietnamese people. Obviously, he intended to play a prank on everyone.


He was fined for spreading false information


edit covid-19 test fined
Nguyễn Văn Tú at the police station

Image credit: VNExpress 

Tú probably didn’t expect that his joke would spiral way out of control. Soon after the fake picture was published, it was widely shared on the Internet, causing major concerns among local residents. In the end, authorities had to get involved.

A day after his ill-advised joke, Tú was summoned to the local police station, when he was informed of the severity of his action. The man was then given a fine of VND7,500,000 (~USD327) for spreading false information and asked to take down the fake picture.

edit covid-19 test 2
Another man was also fined for trying to pull off a similar prank
Image credit: Tiền Phong

But apparently, Tú’s unwise sense of humor was shared by another man living in Đồng Tháp Province, half the country away. Earlier today, Tiền Phong reported that this second man had also tried to pull off the exact same prank, editing his Covid-19 negative test result into positive and posting it on Facebook.

Sure enough, he was also quickly met with a VND5,000,000 (~USD218) fine.


Be careful with the information you dish out and receive


Vietnam is facing a dire time, and yes, perhaps we could use a bit of lightheartedness every now and then. However, Covid-19 is a sensitive topic, and it definitely should not be joked about in this manner. Hopefully, the men have learned their lesson.

At the same time, their stories show us that fake news is a very real issue on the Internet. So, choose your information source carefully. When it comes to updates on Covid-19, it’s best to follow the Ministry of Health’s portal or other official government sites.

For more stories, check out:


Cover image adapted from Lao Động and VNExpress, left panel for illustrative purposes only

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