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ICASA condemns fake 5G-coronavirus theories

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ICASA chairman Dr Keabetswe Modimoeng.
ICASA chairman Dr Keabetswe Modimoeng.

Telecoms regulator the Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) has joined the list of voices to dispel claims that fifth-generation (5G) technology is the cause of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

This comes amid heightened chatter linking 5G to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic doing the rounds and going viral on social media platforms.

ICASA says it would like to urge all South Africans not to be swayed by these conspiracy theories that are hell-bent on bringing instability and fear within the nation.

The regulator notes that in its April 2020 statement, it debunked the conspiracy theories that link the spread of COVID-19 to the deployment of 5G.

It reiterates its position that the development of standards for International Mobile Telecommunication for 2020 (IMT-2020) and beyond (commercially known as 5G), is continuing at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU); and that the administration, including ICASA, contributes and participates in these processes.

“We all need to rely on scientifically-based evidence and refrain from these baseless theories,” says ICASA chairperson Dr Keabetswe Modimoeng. “Some of the frequencies earmarked and trialled for 5G deployment by industry players were previously assigned to various operators in South Africa – way before the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in 2020. Such fake theories can only cause despair and unnecessary technophobia among South Africans and must be strongly condemned.”

According to ICASA, SA adheres to the relevant standards prescribed by both the ITU and the World Health Organisation, with the former’s focus being primarily on the regulation of radio frequency electromagnetic field emissions.

The authority confirms that type-approved electronic communications facilities provided in the country adhere to the prescribed standards and that there is no evidence that they pose any health risks to the country and/or its citizens.

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