HOAX: 5G technology is not linked to the Covid-19 pandemic
Jun 08
PesaCheck
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PesaCheck is a pioneering verification initiative that is helping kickstart fact-checking across East Africa. PesaCheck is an innovateAFRICA.fund grantee, and receives additional support from the International Budget Partnership, Code for Africa and the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ).
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Research shows no relationship between the disease and wireless technology.

Facebook post claiming that 5G wireless technology created the COVID-19 pandemic is FALSE.

The post also says that China was the first country to launch 5G mobile communication technology in Wuhan in July 2019, which is not true.

According to media reports, South Korea was the first country in the world to launch and adopt in large scale the 5G technology in April 2019.

China rolled out the 5G in major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen in October 2019.

According to the BBC, the US and UK had all launched the 5G earlier though not on large scale.

5G is the fifth-generation of mobile internet connectivity. It promises much faster data download and upload speeds, wider coverage, and more stable connections.

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31, 2019, in the Chinese city of Wuhan. The coronavirus has ever since spread widely across the globe, infecting more than 4.9 million people and killing over 324,000 as of May 20.

The virus, formally known as SARS-CoV-2, has affected almost every country on the planet, including tens of nations that are yet to roll out the 5G infrastructure.

The World Health Organization says that no research links exposure to wireless technology to negative health effects. The UN agency, on its myth busters platform, also says that 5G mobile network technology does not spread COVID-19.

WHOs spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic told PesaCheck that the claim that 5G mobile communication technology is linked to the coronavirus pandemic is scientifically unfounded.

“There is no research that proves that there’s a connection between 5G technology and the new coronavirus infection,” said Tarik.

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. People infected with the virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness. The infection spreads mainly through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

PesaCheck has looked into the claim that 5G is behind the COVID-19 pandemic and finds it to be FALSE.


This post is part of an ongoing series of PesaCheck fact-checks examining content marked as potential misinformation on Facebook and other social media platforms.

By partnering with Facebook and similar social media platforms, third-party fact-checking organisations like PesaCheck are helping to sort fact from fiction. We do this by giving the public deeper insight and context to posts they see in their social media feeds.

Have you spotted what you think is fake news or false information on Facebook? Here’s how you can report. And, here’s more information on PesaCheck’s methodology for fact-checking questionable content.

This fact-check was written by PesaCheck Fact-Checker James Okong’o and edited by PesaCheck News Editor Enock Nyariki.

The article was approved for publication by PesaCheck Managing Editor Eric Mugendi.

PesaCheck is East Africa’s first public finance fact-checking initiative. It was co-founded by Catherine Gicheru and Justin Arenstein, and is being incubated by the continent’s largest civic technology and data journalism accelerator: Code for Africa. It seeks to help the public separate fact from fiction in public pronouncements about the numbers that shape our world, with a special emphasis on pronouncements about public finances that shape government’s delivery of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) public services, such as healthcare, rural development and access to water/sanitation. PesaCheck also tests the accuracy of media reportage. To find out more about the project, visit pesacheck.org.

PesaCheck is an initiative of Code for Africa, through its innovateAFRICA fund, with support from Deutsche Welle Akademie, in partnership with a coalition of local media and other civic watchdog organisations in 14 African countries.

PesaCheck
Partner
PesaCheck is a pioneering verification initiative that is helping kickstart fact-checking across East Africa. PesaCheck is an innovateAFRICA.fund grantee, and receives additional support from the International Budget Partnership, Code for Africa and the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ).
WebsiteTwitter
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How should Africa, with its fragile healthcare systems and large informal economies tailor global strategies for fighting Covid-19 to ensure they are feasible and effective locally? African policymakers and health agencies need evidence-based insights with strong local context to make informed decisions. Outbreak.AFRICA seeks to help by giving actionable data and expert insights.

This Code for Africa initiative was made possible with support from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.
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This Code for Africa initiative was made possible with support from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.
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