A burger shaped as coronavirus is seen at a restaurant in Hanoi, Vietnam March 25, 2020. REUTERS/Kham

HANOI – 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.

Laughing in the face of the global pandemic, Chef Hoang Tung and his team now spend their days molding dozens of green-tea stained burger buns complete with little “crowns” made of dough to resemble microscopic images of the virus.

“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.

“If you want to beat it, you’ve got to eat it first.”

The shop has sold around 50 burgers a day, despite the growing numbers of Vietnam businesses that have closed due to 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, according to the health ministry. 

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

Taking his grandson out for a Coronaburger, Dang Dinh Quy, 66, viewed the luminous green burger as a morale-boosting treat.

“This coronavirus is very dangerous. But if we eat a burger in its shape, in our minds, it’s like we are already victorious,” said Quy.

“If you want to beat it, you’ve got to eat it first.”

—Reuters

By Minh Nguyen and Thinh Nguyen