Rumours of COVID-19 spreading due to 5G technology totally baseless, false: COAI
The telecom operator association expressed concern about false rumours that have been circulating on social media in the country, attempting to draw a connection between the spread of COVID-19 and 5G technology.
One of the biggest challenges to the spread of 5G around the world has been the slow spread of the technology necessary to bring faster and more stable mobile network connections to more people. In countries where the technology is ready for deployment, some misinformed citizens have opposed its spread, claiming that it causes various medical issues -- and India is the latest country to join the club.
On Friday, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) expressed concern about false rumours that have been circulating on social media in the country, attempting to draw a connection between the spread of COVID-19 and 5G technology. It is important to note that viruses cannot travel over radio waves or mobile networks, a fact that the World Health Organisation has repeatedly stated in the past.
The WHO has also said on multiple occasions that there is “no adverse health effect causally linked with exposure to wireless technologies.” However, this hasn’t stopped citizens in other countries like the UK from burning down 5G network towers due to online misinformation. Even in the US, many anti-5G technology groups exist, spurred on by increasing misinformation available on social media and around the web.
The association said that it had seen ‘multiple messages’ on not only social networking platforms but even some regional media sites, which claim it was probable that the rising number of COVID-19 cases was probably caused by 5G spectrum trials in the country. The COAI stated that there were no 5G trials being conducted in the country, nor have any 5G cell towers been installed as of now.
“We would like to clarify that these rumours are absolutely false. We urge people not to fall for such baseless misinformation. Several countries in the world have already rolled out 5G networks and people are using these services safely...We have shared our concerns with the Department of Telecommunications and have apprised them of the situation. I appeal (to) fellow citizens to beware of these fake messages. Together we can fight this menace of misinformation,” said COAI Director General Lt. Gen. Dr. S.P. Kochhar.