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Link between 5G, second covid-19 wave ‘false, baseless’, says DoT

The DoT said it has taken several measures to create awareness among public about electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation and allay their concerns over emissions from mobile towers. (AFP)Premium
The DoT said it has taken several measures to create awareness among public about electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation and allay their concerns over emissions from mobile towers. (AFP)

  • The testing of the 5G network has not yet started anywhere in India. Hence, the claim that 5G trials or networks are causing coronavirus in India are baseless and false, the DoT said

The department of telecommunications (DoT) on Monday called out the link between 5G wireless technology and the second wave of covid-19 false and incorrect, urging people not to be misguided by misinformation and rumours in the matter.

“The claims linking the 5G technology with the covid-19 pandemic are false and have no scientific basis. Moreover, it is informed that the testing of the 5G network has not yet started anywhere in India. Hence, the claim that 5G trials or networks are causing coronavirus in India are baseless and false," the DoT said in a statement.

The government’s statement follows several misleading messages on social media platforms, claiming that the second wave of covid-19 has been caused after the DoT allowed the trials for 5G, or fifth generation, wireless service last week.

On 4 May, the telecom department permitted operators to conduct trials for use and applications of 5G technology. It allowed Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, Bharti Airtel Ltd, Vodafone Idea Ltd and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd to conduct trials for 5G with the help of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and technology providers such as Ericsson, Nokia Corp and C-Dot, or Centre for Development of Telematics.

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio will also conduct 5G trials using its own indigenous technology.

The DoT allowed six months for 5G trials including two months for procurement and setting up of necessary equipment. The permission letters specify that telecom operators will have to conduct trials in rural and semi-urban zones in addition to urban areas so that customers from across the country are benefitted by 5G.

On Monday, the DoT clarified that mobile towers emit non-ionising radio frequencies that have minuscule power and are incapable of causing any kind of damage to living cells including those of human beings. The department has prescribed norms for exposure limit for radio frequency field, also known as base station emissions, which are 10 times more stringent than the safety limits mandated by International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection and recommended by the World Health Organisation, it said.

The DoT said it has taken several measures to create awareness among public about electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation and allay their concerns over emissions from mobile towers. The DoT’s field units have also been organising public awareness events to share knowledge on EMF emissions from mobile towers.

India is currently facing its worst covid-19 crisis. The world’s second most populous country has so far reported over 2.26 crore cases, while 2.46 lakh have succumbed to the deadly virus. While the country’s vaccination drive is on, many states have imposed stringent lockdown-like measures to arrest the spread of coronavirus.

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