Amid India’s rapidly rising active COVID-19 cases, claims of 5G testing radiation in the country being the cause of the ongoing second wave is circulating on social media platforms.
It’s being claimed that during testing of 5G towers, a radiation is released causing the air to be poisonous. This has led to people dying from oxygen deficiency. The government has named this an epidemic to hide its failure.
India has been consistently reporting over 3 lakh active cases daily in the last few days with 3.82 lakh cases in the last 24 hours. As of 5 May, the country’s total active caseload stands at 34.8 lakh, as per data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Fact Check / Verification
5G, or fifth Generation, is the latest wireless mobile phone technology. “It’s expected to increase performance and a wide range of new applications, including strengthening e-Health (telemedicine, remote surveillance, telesurgery).”
On Tuesday, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) gave permission to Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) to conduct trials for the use and application of 5G technology in India.
A statement from the Ministry of Communications reads, “The applicant TSPs include Bharti Airtel Ltd., Reliance JioInfocomm Ltd., Vodafone Idea Ltd. and MTNL. These TSPs have tied up with original equipment manufacturers and technology providers which are Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung and C-DOT.”
Earlier in January, Airtel announced it had successfully tested the 5G service on a commercial network in Hyderabad. “The company conducted the live tests on its existing liberalised spectrum in the 1800 MHz band through the NSA (Non-Stand Alone) network technology,” as per a Deccan Herald news report.
The DoT has recently given permission to TSPs, meaning trials for 5G network are still at a nascent stage in India.
Therefore, the claim on 5G testing towers being the cause of the second COVID-19 wave in India is unsubstantiated and lacks scientific evidence.
Debunks On 5G Testing Radiation
“Viruses cannot travel on radio waves/mobile networks. COVID-19 is spreading in many countries that do not have 5G mobile networks,” stated the World Health Organisation (WHO) in their Mythbusters.
In another post, the WHO clarifies, “To date, and after much research performed, no adverse health effect has been causally linked with exposure to wireless technologies. Health-related conclusions are drawn from studies performed across the entire radio spectrum but, so far, only a few studies have been carried out at the frequencies to be used by 5G.”
The WHO further explains, “Tissue heating is the main mechanism of interaction between radiofrequency fields and the human body. Radiofrequency exposure levels from current technologies result in negligible temperature rise in the human body. As the frequency increases, there is less penetration into the body tissues and absorption of the energy becomes more confined to the surface of the body (skin and eye). Provided that the overall exposure remains below international guidelines, no consequences for public health are anticipated.”
Additionally, the Press Information Bureau’s fact-check wing rubbished the claim on radiation from 5G testing towers causing the second COVID-19 wave in India.
Claims on radiation from 5G testing being the cause of India’s second COVID-19 wave are false. These claims are unsubstantiated and lack scientific evidence.
World Health Organisation: https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/radiation-5g-mobile-networks-and-health
World Health Organisation: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters#5g
Press Information Bureau: https://twitter.com/PIBFactCheck/status/1386973448853803009