Dismantling Covid-19 5G myths

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  • There are persistent rumours that 5G can cause e.g. Covid-19, cancer and male infertility 
  • There is, however, no connection between 5G and Covid-19
  • Covid-19 vaccines also do not contain microchips to monitor citizens

The emergence of SAR-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, has brought along with it fake news and conspiracy theories.

One of the most prominent rumours is that the 5th generation network (5G) causes Covid-19.

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) held a webinar on Monday to dismantle myths related to the virus and 5G.

5G and health threats

Speaking druing the webinar, CSIR senior researcher Dr Essa Suleman said that the event of Covid-19 is not the first to have sparked rumours about network technology such as 5G being a health threat. 

He says that there are many rumours about 5G technology, for example, that it causes cancer, skin ailments, eye problems and male infertility. He adds that there are also rumours that 5G, apart from causing Covid-19, causes the virus to mutate.

Busting the myths of 5G

Suleman explains that there is no evidence that links 5G to health problems.

He cites the International Agency of Research that listed cell phone radiation as a possible cause of cancer. This is despite there not being any conclusive evidence confirming that 5G causes cancer in humans.  

He says that there are studies that show that 5G and Electromagnetic Field (EMF) levels can be harmful, but warns that these are animal and lab studies, which are not always a true reflection of what happens in humans.

“But these conditions do not necessarily reflect real-world conditions. So under real-world conditions, such effects do not occur,” Suleman says, adding that human population studies have proven that there is no correlation between EMF and cancer.

And to crown it all, in terms of Covid-19 and 5G, he highlights that many countries with significant numbers of coronavirus cases do not even have 5G. 

Theories around vaccines

Suleman adds that in the case of vaccine development, they have also become aware of numerous conspiracy theories.

“In December 2020, a Twitter post claimed to show a circuit diagram of a 5G chip that would be used in Covid-19 vaccines, and the government would use these to spy on the citizens.

"But in reality, this was actually a circuit diagram for a bass guitar. So it's a musical instrument and has nothing to do with the Covid-19 vaccine,” he explains.

READ| Scientists continue to research existing drugs to treat Covid-19 - now, an antiviral treatment

READ| How to combat the spread of fake news

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