MTN debunks 5G link to COVID-19
MTN has debunked any link between 5G and COVID-19, saying the myth has been discredited globally by scientists.
The company says it will continue to work to raise awareness and direct its efforts to combat the pandemic and support customers and society.
In recent weeks, SA has seen an increase in campaigns spreading dangerous myths linking 5G to the outbreak of COVID-19, which have gone viral on social media platforms.
Local mobile network operators such as Vodacom and MTN have been at the receiving end of the anger of perpetrators peddling the falsehoods because they have started to deploy commercial 5G networks in some parts of the country.
MTN says 5G mobile technology has undergone extensive research, with numerous studies finding it has no negative impact on the environment or people.
“This fact has been confirmed by leading global experts, independent professional groups and public health agencies, including the World Health Organisation.
“The United Nations’ International Telecommunication Union says there is no scientific basis for the statements that link 5G to COVID-19. The International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection says claims that exposure to the electromagnetic fields generated by 5G devices can cause COVID-19 are not supported by any evidence.”
MTN, SA’s second biggest mobile operator with 30 million subscribers, says the rollout of 5G into the future is key to its work to bring more people into the digital world and allow them to benefit from the fourth industrial revolution, and it will continue to educate the public.
“MTN continues to work to raise awareness of the fact that there is no reliable scientific evidence of any link between 5G and COVID-19, and we remain focused on our efforts to combat the pandemic and support customers and society in these uncertain times.”
The rebuttal of the myth on 5G as the causal link to the deadly virus has drawn many industry leaders, who are united in an effort to educate the public as well as protect telecoms infrastructure from further damage.
Last week, telecoms regulator the Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) dispelled the claims that 5G technology is the cause of the coronavirus.
ICASA urged South Africans not to be swayed by these conspiracy theories, which it said are hell-bent on bringing instability and fear within the nation.
“We all need to rely on scientifically-based evidence and refrain from these baseless theories,” said 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.”
University of Johannesburg vice-chancellor professor Tshilidzi Marwala has also added his voice, saying: “There is no causal connection between 5G technology and any biological virus, including COVID-19.” He notes 5G will positively and fundamentally transform communication.