India has been a hub for some of the most outlandish fake news about the coronavirus outbreak, but it seems that the UK is not that far behind!
According to multiple reports, people in the UK are burning 5G network masts/towers as a conspiracy theory is doing the rounds on the internet that it helps with the spread of COVID-19.
According to a report in the BBC, masts have been set alight in Liverpool, Birmingham, and Melling. Fire services had to be called in to extinguish the flames.
What Are the Rumours?
Rumours of the link between the novel coronavirus and 5G networks have been spread over social media networks. Ironic, right?
There are numerous groups on Facebook and other social media platforms that have been spreading rumours that 5G networks are harmful to humans. What seems to be a hot topic in these groups is that 5G sucks oxygen out of your lungs.
One of the theories suggests that coronavirus emerged from Wuhan, where the Chinese were testing 5G technology. It has supposedly spread to cities using 5G.
Just FYI, India and Pakistan don’t have 5G as of now and yet they are battling coronavirus.
According to a story in The Verge, some network engineers and workers on the field laying optic fibers for 5G installations are being harassed. The attackers claim that 5G will “kill everyone” when it’s turned on.
Is 5G Harmful?
There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that 5G technology is connected to the coronavirus nor is it harmful.
Stephen Powis, who is the National Medical Director of NHS (National Health Services) England, has hit out at people spreading these rumours and has called these theories “utter rubbish.”
“I’m absolutely outraged and disgusted that people would be taking action against the infrastructure we need to tackle this emergency.”Stephen Powis, Director, NHS England
Yes, 5G does use higher frequency waves than 3G and 4G but the regulators in the UK have recorded electromagnetic radiation levels much lesser than international guidelines.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport in the UK also said that “there is absolutely no credible evidence" of a link between the coronavirus and 5G.
The network operators in the UK have condemned these attacks and believe they are undermining the nation’s security. These 5G masts are essential to the smooth functioning of the network infrastructure and damage to them can gravely disrupt services.
“It beggars belief that some people should want to harm the very networks that are providing essential connectivity to the emergency services, the NHS, and rest of the country during this difficult lockdown period.”Nick Jeffery, CEO, Vodafone UK
The government is getting ready to hold talks with social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, and Twitter to ensure that such rumour mongering doesn’t happen online and culprits spreading such fake news are stopped.
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