Recently, rumours surfaced in Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and other states that 5G testing towers were responsible for spreading Covid infection.
It fuelled paranoia among hundreds of villagers, leading to several instances where mobile towers were damaged or uprooted in recent weeks.
As a result, over 20 telecom towers were reportedly damaged in Punjab last month after misleading messages, linking Covid to telecom network and 5G network testing, have gone viral on social media.
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) also warned the public not to believe fake messages claiming the 5G network and spread of Covid-19 are linked.
Besides, the Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI) asserted that 5G would prove to be a "game-changer" and lead to an "exponential increase in benefits" for the economy and society.
The association - which represents large telcos like Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea - argued that India already has strict norms in place and prescribed standards for electromagnetic radiation limit in the telecom sector is far more stringent than global-accepted standards.
"Radiation permitted in India is one-tenth of what is accepted globally so already our systems have taken this into account...Any notion or concern about radiation and impact are misplaced. These are fallacious fears and this always happens whenever a new technology is introduced," S P Kochhar, Director General, COAI said.
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