Telecommunications operators globally have denied any link between the COVID-19 pandemic and the evolving 5G technology. The Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) yesterday advised the citizenry to disregard the news making the rounds that the pandemic had a relationship with technology.
In the last two weeks, there have been unsubstantiated reports worldwide on how 5G not only caused sickness but triggered deaths, including COVID-19. From Wuhan in China to the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany and the United States, several coronavirus deaths had been linked to 5G activations in most nations.
In Nigeria, the Federal Government, through the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, informed that no 5G license had been granted in the country. “However, the only exercise done in this regard has been 5G trials, which were powered by MTN last November with the support of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC),” he added.
ALTON Chairman, Gbenga Adebayo, observed: “There is no scientific basis for the claim that 5G is responsible for COVID-19. The world is still seeking to know the source of the virus and it had not been traced to anything not to talk of telecommunications. “We should be careful about spreading such information. Science is different from fiction and the peddlers of such information should be careful not to misinform the public.”
According to him, government was doing a lot to curb the spread of the scourge. Adebayo called on Nigerians to keep supporting government to make the country safer. He added: “Looking at 5G penetration so far and the number of countries with incidences of mortality due to COVID-19, there is no basis to relate this to 5G.
“Many of those countries do not have 5G in commercial use. This virus was said to have started in Wuhan in China, there are many other provinces of China with 5G that were not affected by the virus. There is no scientific prove and this rumor should be discontented.”
In a post, the Vice President, Corporate Communications and CSR, Airtel Nigeria, Emeka Oparah, also debunked the claim. He claimed that there had been a “strategic campaign against the 5G technology driven by business and diplomacy and propagated by an orchestrated campaign to discredit the innovation,” adding: “How it got twisted to establish a link to coronavirus is perhaps the most important argument to debunk the fables.”