Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has a lot of important matters on his plate at the moment, it has to be said. So the last thing he needs confronting with is a conspiracy theory that simply doesn’t add up. The Cabinet member was asked if 5G technology was linked to coronavirus on Tuesday…
What is 5G internet?
5G is the fifth generation of wireless communications technologies supporting cellular data networks. The 5G millimeter wave is the fastest available, with actual speeds increased from its predecessor of 4G.
It will allow mobile internet to move much, much faster and download times will be slashed dramatically. However, the rollout of this technology – pushed by Chinese industries – has been erroneously tied to the outbreak of COVID-19.
Is 5G linked to coronavirus? No, not by a long shot
The only established link between the two is that they’ve come into existence around the same time. But the conspiracy theorists suggest that this global wave of illnesses is actually being caused by radiation in 5G networks. No scientist or official medical body has given credence to this idea, though.
Sadly, we’ve got to the point where this widely-discredited viewpoint is starting to enter the mainstream consciousness. One South African journalist asked Zweli Mkhize about the link between 5G and coronavirus on Tuesday – the minister’s reaction just about says it all:
I even rewinded on my telly and recorded this coz yall wont believe me a journo at that KZN briefing asked Dr Zweli Mkhize about 5G links to corona virus infections pic.twitter.com/6r98aM2nEg
— Pampi (@MissPampi) March 31, 2020
Zweli Mkhize dismisses fake news
After stifling a laugh, Zweli Mkhize got down to a bit of mythbusting. He emphatically denied that the technology could be linked to the infection, and stated that “only facts” would help beat coronavirus.
“We’re dealing with a lot of fake news. The issue is, 5G is technology, and coronavirus is an organic infection. It’s not something you can link with 5G. We can’t go around scaring people, because it is something we can fight and defeat. But we must do this with true information. Facts must fight COVID-19.”
Watch out for fake news- 5G & coronavirus: 5G is a technology issue and Covid is a virus. You cannot link the virus to technology.
— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) March 31, 2020