A message is being circulated on social media claiming that the second wave of coronavirus is nothing but an impact of radiation being released by 5G testing. It says that the second wave is being caused due to the testing of the 5G towers and appeals to people to protest against the installation of the 5G towers. The message is also viral on WhatsApp.
As per the claim (as translated from Hindi), "The second wave of coronavirus pandemic is nothing but the impact of 5G testing. The radiation from the 5G tower is poisoning the air, causing breathing issues, and people are dying. Hence, please demand to ban the testing of the 5G network, and then everything will get back to normal."
The claim further states, "Due to radiation caused by 5G network, most of the time one can feel current at every place in the home, but not every person can feel it. People are feeling frequent dry mouths. The nose seems dry, and blood clots are found. Note: If you are really having any of the above symptoms, then remember it is due to the harmful effects of 5G network radiation. Remember the way how birds died due to 4G radiation; similarly, 5G radiations are very harmful to humans and animals. Notice the two birds who resided near you but are no more. Let us protest against the testing of 5G networks."
The post is widely being shared on Facebook.
Similar claims are also viral on Twitter.
People are dying due to radiation from 5G testing and not coronavirus.
Claim 1: 5G trial in India causing coronavirus
The latest report of The Economic Times, published on May 4, 2021, says that the government has accepted the application of 5G trials of 13 companies that do not include Chinese companies like ZTE, Huawei. The report also quoted a senior government official, who said, "BSNL has tied up with C-DoT and Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio have tied up with other vendors including Ericsson and Nokia for trials in different regions across the country. Telcos will soon be given airwaves in the 700 Mhz bands to use for trial purposes with some conditions attached."
Based on the statement of the official, bandwidth for trial purposes are yet to be provided by the Department of Telecommunications.
Another report published by The Economic Times on March 12, 2021, said that Bharti Airtel has started developing 5G network technologies in India through its own R&D and in collaboration with local, US and Japanese firms using the OpenRAN technology. While other companies like Reliance, Vodafone, Bhartiya Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) awaited clearance for trial.
Hence, the trial of the 5G network was in a very nascent stage when coronavirus cases started surging in India at the beginning of April 2021.
A report by Qualcomm published in December 2020, which spoke about the global allocated/targeted 5G spectrum in the world, shows that India was not provided with any 5G spectrum till December, while the first wave of COVID cases in India was observed in March 2020.
Moreover, nations like Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, South Korea have far fewer COVID cases than India, according to Worldometer. While the 5G network is being used in all these nations, Hong Kong has only 4 new coronavirus cases, South Korea has 541 new cases, Australia has 9 new cases, and New Zealand has seen only one new case of coronavirus. Hence, the theory of the 5G network causing coronavirus cases falls flat.
WHO has also published a report speaking about the possible health risks due to the exposure radiation of the 5G network. According to the report, "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. 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."
WHO has also debunked the claim of 'coronavirus spreading due to 5G technologies'. According to the report, "Viruses cannot travel on radio waves/mobile networks. COVID-19 is spreading in many countries that do not have 5G mobile networks. COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks. People can also be infected by touching a contaminated surface and then their eyes, mouth or nose."
Claim 2: Birds die due to 4G radiations
In January 2021, when many birds were dying due to bird flu, social media hoaxes claimed it was due to the testing of 5G technology being done by Reliance Jio that was proving fatal for birds. The Logical Indian had then done a Fact-Check on the same and debunked the claim. The fact-check can be read here.
How did the hoax of birds dying due to radiation started?
In April 2020, many social media users claimed that over 150 birds fell from the sky and died due to exposure to radiation in the west coast city of The Netherland. According to social media posts, a 5G broadcast was being tested at the time of the death of the birds.
However, Reuters published a report on April 29, 2020, debunking the claim. According to Reuters, Wageningen Bioveterinary Research (WUF), had carried out post-mortems on the birds who died in the park of Hague in the Netherlands. The autopsy report revealed that the primary cause of death was bleeding from trauma. Some natural poison - mostly likely from yew berries – were found in the organs of the birds. WUF said that it couldn't guarantee that the birds were weakened by natural poison, but that it also couldn't be ruled out. Also, the Antenna Bureau of the Dutch government had confirmed that no 5G trial was happening near the park in which birds were found dead.
UNICEF has also busted the claim of 5G radiations causing coronavirus or death of birds. In the blog, Unicef had fact-checked a claim by a Serbian scientist, who said that 5G radiation is spreading coronavirus and also birds are dying due to it. In the context of this, Unicef said, "The fifth generation of mobile internet is neither killing the living world nor spreading the virus."
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