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Misinformation linking 5G network to COVID-19 'utterly baseless': Australian Communications minister

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-05-19 14:56
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An advertising board shows a 5G logo at the International Airport in Zaventem, Belgium May 4, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

CANBERRA - Australian Minister for Communications Paul Fletcher has warned Australians about misinformation linking the COVID-19 to 5G mobile technology.

In a statement issued on Tuesday morning, Paul Fletcher, minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, declared that there is no evidence that radio waves used by mobile networks have any harmful effects.

Misinformation about 5G telecommunications networks have become prevalent online amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Any suggestions that there is a link between 5G and coronavirus are utterly baseless. As the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) has said, 5G does not cause the coronavirus and it does not spread coronavirus," Fletcher said.

Fletcher said that spreading this type of misinformation is irresponsible, dangerous and could be harmful to the community, citing the recent arson attacks on mobile phone towers in Britain and New Zealand.

"Interfering or tampering with telecommunications facilities is a criminal offence. The Australian government will not tolerate any vandalism of communications infrastructure and I urge Australians to report any suspicious activity to their local police."

"Causing damage to mobile phone networks can cut vital connectivity, risking serious harm, even death, if a person is unable to contact Triple Zero."

CMO Brendan Murphy has repeatedly ruled out any link between the technology and the spread of COVID-19.

"There is no link between 5G and COVID-19. 5G does not cause COVID-19. It does not spread COVID-19. Nor does it increase the severity of COVID-19 or make people more susceptible to COVID-19," he said on Friday in a statement.

"Turning off your WiFi will not protect you from COVID-19. The best way you can protect yourself is to practise physical distancing and good hygiene, and to stay at home if you have any cold or flu-like symptoms."

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