New Delhi: The latest high-speed broadband technology 5G is not responsible for the spread of the COVID-19 and any theory of a link between it and the coronavirus is “a hoax that has no technical basis”, UN agency for information and communications technology has said. Also Read - Chess Keeps Ticking, Moves Online Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
As the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the world almost four months ago, 5G phone masts have reportedly been damaged or destroyed in several European countries, including Ireland, Cyprus and Belgium. Also Read - Zee Rajasthan E-Vimarsh: Zee Rajasthan Organises 6-Hour E-Conclave, 12 Ministers Attend Sessions
In the UK, dozens of towers were targeted and engineers abused on the job, a UN News report said. Also Read - World Menstrual Hygiene Day 2020: Importance of Theme 'Periods in Pandemic'
A spokesperson for International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Monika Gehner told the UN News on Wednesday that the theory of a link between 5G and COVID-19 is “a hoax that has no technical basis”.
“The coronavirus is not being spread by radio waves. It’s a real shame, during this time when there are real concerns about the health and well-being of the general public, and the economic toll that the fight against this pandemic is taking, that any time or energy has to be put into fighting this and other false rumours,” she said.
The 5G is the next generation cellular technology with download speeds stated to be 10 to 100 times faster than current 4G networks.
The 5G reliably connect an extremely large number of devices. This allows future users to access a wide variety of services, including industrial and professional applications, the ITU said.
During the current pandemic, communication technology is playing an essential role in ensuring that health services, many of which are facing unprecedented demand due to the pandemic, are able to respond function efficiently: this was underlined when a phone mast supplying voice and data traffic to a hospital built in response to the pandemic, in the UK’s Birmingham city, was reportedly set alight in April.
The scale of the problem prompted the World Health Organisation (WHO), the UN agency which is leading the response to the pandemic, to add the 5G conspiracy to its COVID-19 myth busters article, which noted that “viruses cannot travel on radio waves/mobile networks. COVID-19 is spreading in many countries that do not have 5G mobile networks”.
In a statement published in February, the WHO noted that “to date, and after much research performed, no adverse health effect has been causally linked with exposure to wireless technologies”.
It also noted that “provided that the overall exposure remains below international guidelines, no consequences for public health are anticipated”.
The ITU, the WHO and the UNICEF are working with telecommunication companies to text people directly on their mobile phones with vital health messaging to help protect them from COVID-19, reaching billions of people without internet access.
The Global Education Coalition, an ITU/UNESCO initiative, is ensuring that learning never stops for the over 1.5 billion students and youths across the planet affected by school and university closures.
The Global Network Resiliency Platform helps policy-makers, regulators and industry players ensure that networks are kept resilient and telecom services are available to as many people as possible.