Charles Cilliers
2 minute read
31 Mar 2020
6:38 pm

Zweli Mkhize says ‘5G causing Covid-19 deaths’ is just fake news

Charles Cilliers

The health minister reacted with derision to a question about a conspiracy theory that radio waves may have something to do with the problem.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize. Picture: Jacques Nelles

The internet theory that cellphone towers set up to roll out 5G data networks around the world are the real culprits behind people getting sick and dying with lung problems has not met with any approval from Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.

Speaking at the Durban port on Tuesday, he said it had been scientifically established beyond any doubt that the coronavirus was a biological phenomenon.

The infections it was causing could be accurately tracked through lab tests and by studying the virus under a microscope.

The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is a zoonotic virus that emerged in China after jumping from an animal to a human, he pointed out.

Since it is a new virus, most people have no immune defence against it, and it is also spreading rapidly due to being very easy to contract.

The minister cautioned against fake news.

“5G is a technology issue and Covid-19 is caused by a virus. You cannot link the virus to technology.”

South Africa’s state of disaster rules make it possible for someone to be arrested and charged if they are suspected of spreading fake news.

“We need to use facts to fight the coronavirus, not fake news,” said Mkhize.

5G is the fifth generation of wireless communications technologies supporting cellular data networks. Large-scale adoption began in 2019 and today virtually every telecommunication service provider in the developed world is upgrading its infrastructure to offer 5G functionality.

In South Africa, it is also slowly being rolled out, with the company Rain saying 5G is “the future of all things internet, allowing South Africans to do more with data than ever before”.

5G offers transmission of data at previously unheard of volumes and speeds, with tech experts explaining that the speed of a 5G message is nearly as fast as human thought itself – which would allow for advances such as allowing a surgeon to do an operation in real time remotely by controlling a robotic scalpel on the other side of the world … among untold numbers of other uses and applications.

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