Zimbabwe: Potraz Demystifies Link Between COVID-19 and 5G Network

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22 April 2020

The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) last week denied the myth going around that there is a link between the COVID-19 pandemic and fifth-generation (5G) cellular mobile technologies.

In a statement, POTRAZ General Director, Dr Gift Machengete said there is no scientific link and COVID-19 or any clinical evidence linking the technology to coronavirus.

"There is no scientific link between 5G and COVID-19 or its spread. There is no clinical evidence linking 5G and COVID-19 or its spread. 5G operates in the non-ionising portion of the electromagnetic field and there are no 5G deployments in Zimbabwe.

"All network deployments in Zimbabwe are done in accordance with ITU based international standards and under Zimbabwe law, network vandalism or intentional damage to critical information infrastructure is a criminal offence which upon conviction carries a minimum of 10 years in jail," he said.

This follows trending myths around the world that the pandemic which has claimed 178,550 worldwide, came as a result of the new technology.

Contrary to those beliefs, 5G will be more human and environmentally friendly as it will employ beam-forming antennas to focus signals more efficiently towards the device in use rather than having the signal spread in broad directions as in current base station antennas, according to Dr Machengete.

He dismissed any health complications arising from the technology.

"Health-related conclusions are drawn from studies performed across the entire radio spectrum, including those to be used for 5G," he noted.

"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," he further stated.

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