The main argument of those who point 5G as the cause of the coronavirus epidemic is that Wuhan is the city where the 5G system has been used most and first. However, Wuhan was not ahead of other cities or countries in terms of 5G. It was started to be used in some cities in the USA and certain regions of South Korea before Wuhan. South Korea activated the world’s first 5G network on April 3, 2019.
When we look at this chart in Statista, we can see that there were 4 million 5G connections in North America in 2019. If these theories were real somehow, a COVID-19-like disease would be supposed to appear here in 2019. In Italy, 5G technology has been used since June 2019.
According to a 5G report by VIAVI, there is a 5G network in 85 cities in South Korea. The USA and China follow it. If the coronavirus outbreak were really linked to 5G, South Korea would have been the place where the number of cases is the highest. However, as of April 9, 2020, South Korea is 17th in the outbreak. Many experts emphasize the success of South Korea’s measures, and removing 5G networks is not one of them. Korea coped with the epidemic thanks to extensive testing, monitoring, and isolation.
Another contradiction regarding the claim is the low number of cases in Saudi Arabia, which ranks fifth among the countries which have 5G technology. If 5G was the “real” cause of the disease, the epidemic would have reached serious levels in countries where 5G is common, such as Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates.
Let’s look at the example of Turkey and Iran. Both countries have not yet started to use 5G, but the number of COVID-19 cases in both countries is quite high. As of April 8, 2020, there are 62,589 cases in Iran. In Turkey, there are 34,109 cases. Both countries are among the top 10 countries where most cases are detected. Another country that has many cases but does not use 5G technology is France.
Also, there is a claim that Switzerland has halted 5G over health fears.
The claim was also reported by Financial Times. It was claimed that the Swiss environment agency wrote a letter to 26 cantonal governments and said that the rollout of 5G should be stopped. However, the Swiss environment agency denied the news of the Times. Accordingly, there was no suggestion in the letter to stop allowing 5G stations, on the contrary, the letter was written to discuss how technology can proceed with the permission of the cantons. Swisscom, one of the telecommunications operators in Switzerland, rejected the claims in February, stating that the infrastructure works would not stop.
The first 5G connection in Switzerland was launched in April 2019. Swisscom Bern installed 5G networks in 54 cities, including Chur, Basel, Davos, Geneva, and Zurich. According to Swisscom’s statement, 5G connections are active to cover 90 percent of society.
Nperf, which is the website where you can check the internet speed and see the locations of mobile network providers such as 3G, 4G, 5G, shows the locations of 5G providers by purple points on the map. As of April 7, 2020, 5G is still used in Switzerland, according to data from Swisscom.
Also, according to Ookla Map, which shows 5G connections, there are over 500 ports of 5G in Switzerland and most of them are used for commercial purposes.
When you have an argument, you cannot easily ignore the other cases about it. So those who say there is a relationship between 5G, and the coronavirus need stronger arguments.
Another scientific evidence that confutes the 5G theories is the fact that the disease is transmitted from human to human. It is possible to say that there is a change in the course of the disease after measures such as social distancing, quarantine, curfews. If this were not the case, countries that use 5G networks would have an increase in cases as people continued using networks.
Mass quarantine was crucial for halting the progression of the outbreak in China. The claim points out that the cause of the decrease in the course of the disease in China was the decrease in the use of 5G.
Figure 1: It points out the whole of Asia shut down the 5G connections since they noticed 5G be the real cause of the new coronavirus.
However, there is no evidence that the epidemic has regressed since the use of 5G phones in China has increased and then decreased. Mass quarantine and other measures may have disrupted 5G infrastructure works, but this does not mean the cancellation of these studies or the closure of 5G networks. On the contrary, China Mobil, China Telecom and China Unicom, which are some of the largest mobile companies in the country, made a joint statement on April 8, 2020, and said that they would work together on 5G and cooperate with other sectors. Known as the market leader, China Mobil shared that 15 million people were 5G customers at the end of February. China Telecom also introduced its first 5G user numbers on March 23, 2020.
No information is available in any country in Asia that 5G technology has been halted. However, there are other examples. For example, hospital constructions that were completed quickly in China could be watched live thanks to 5G. Most of the hospitals also used 5G smart robots. The dates of the statements of the telecom companies and the end of the quarantine in the country are not far from each other. In other words, if 5G use in the country ended, the sign of 5G would not be added to the screens where the construction was shown, nor 5G technology would be used in hospitals.
Figure 2: 5G smart robot with health officials
If we take the date when the message became spread as the beginning of April and make a search accordingly, there cannot be found any news about the end of the 5Gs from the end of March to today. According to maps showing 5G connections online, 5G connections are active in all Far Asian countries. Besides, no official or institution has a statement saying that the cause of the disease is 5G.
One of the claims we analyzed was that 5G was used in quarantined cruise ships. However, this claim was written on the basis of a Diamond Princess ship and based on an easily accessible video. All ships in quarantine have not been examined.
Figure 3: Diamond Princess ships are in quarantine and 5G technology is used in these ships.
Diamond Princess uses a wireless network system called Medallion Net. This system offers an internet service that you can connect wherever the ship is. The satellites operate in three different orbits: Low Earth Orbit (LEO), Medium Earth Orbit (MEO), and Geostationary Orbit (GEO). This system uses the Medium Earth Orbit.
This orbit is 2,000 to 35,780 kilometers from the earth’s surface. It is known to be ideal for navigation and communication satellites. GPS, the global positioning system, also uses this orbit. Dana Ashlie, who put forward 5G conspiracy theories and whose expertise is unknown, talks about this: We also see the video of Medallion Net, where the wireless system used in Princess cruise ships is explained. However, 5G technology is not mentioned in the video. It is said that MEO, Medium Earth Orbit, and GEO Geostationary Orbit are used in the ships.
The reason for the spread of the epidemic on ships is probably not 5G technology. Ships have closed spaces, closed-circuit ventilation systems, and it is very difficult to maintain social distance principles in ships. It can be understood from the dozens of ships quarantined and positive cases. In previous years, norovirus and rotavirus diseases were observed in ships. Although these viruses did not show a kinship with the coronavirus family, they spread rapidly on ships due to the transmission from human to human. There is a list of data prepared by the USA Centres for Disease Control and Prevention regarding the epidemic diseases seen on cruise ships. Here, it is stated that the epidemic disease has been constantly observed in ships since 1994.
There are also COVID-19 cases on ships other than Princess type. For example, the captain of the US aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt is known to have the new coronavirus. Another ship where quarantine is maintained and there are positive cases is Eleftherios Venizelos. Information about the ship’s internet system is available on the website of Anek Lines. It seems that the internet service provider on board is Telenor Maritime, which has not yet switched to 5G technology.
Another claim in the message sent via WhatsApp is that what kills people is not the coronavirus but 5G, which is seen as a frequency weapon. This claim is based on the video of a British specialist. There is no information in the video about who is the person and what is her expertise. But when we watch the original video, we learn that the person is Dana Ashlie, who lives in Southern California. Ashlie lists conspiracy theories about both 5G and COVID-19 vaccines throughout the video. Ashlie’s claims were also mentioned by Bedri Baykam, the columnist in Cumhuriyet and Yeni Akit newspaper.
Figure 4: English expert stated: what kills people is not the coronavirus, but the frequency weapon.
When we search the name, we see that she is a Youtuber. It is not known whether her information about 5G and vaccines is based on any education. Ashlie also took action for the video not to be removed by YouTube and used the abbreviation of some words in the video. She chose keywords such as “Ch” for China and “Cv” for coronavirus. David Rockefeller, the indispensable of conspiracy theories, is also referred to in the video as David Rocker.
According to Ashlie’s conspiracy theory, the new coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, China due to the 5G infrastructure network installed here in 2018. However, China is not the first country to install 5G infrastructure. South Korea, the United States, and the UK had previously launched 5G networks.
The claim in the video that 5G harms the immune system and makes people vulnerable to viral infections also lacks scientific support. The World Health Organization says that many studies have been carried out on the radio spectrum and its negative impact on health has not been observed. It is also known that radio waves are not ionizers, that is, they do not damage DNA.
Organizations such as Bellingcat, Healthfeedback and Full Fact have also prepared articles regarding the claims and stated that the claims are not true.
In this part, we have analyzed the 5G network used by some countries and quarantine ships and the claims of a Youtuber. According to the result, finding a connection between the countries implementing 5G technology and the coronavirus does not seem possible. In the next part, we will analyze the effects of 5G technology on human health and the different connections associated with coronavirus.
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Anadolu Ajansı, Charge of betrayal against the captain of the USA Roosevelt Plane Ship, 6 April 2020
Anek Lines, El.Venizelos
Bellingcat, How Coronavirus Scammers Hide On Facebook And YouTube, 19 March 2020
BBC News, China rolls out 'one of the world's largest' 5G networks, 1 November 2019
Britanicca, How Satellites Work
Cancer.org, Cellular Phone Towers
China Mobile, Anti-epidemic "shadowless player", see how 5G becomes our air and water, 13 March 2020
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Distrupsive Asia, China’s ambitious 5G push slows due to coronavirus disruptions, 24 February 2020
Financial Times, Switzerland halts rollout of 5G over health concerns
Full Fact, The Wuhan coronavirus has nothing to do with 5G, 29 January 2020
Health Feedback, Viral claim falsely asserts that COVID-19 is due to 5G technology rollout, not a virus, 22 February 2020
Mobile World Live, China Telecom reveals 5G user numbers, 23 March 2020
Mobile World Live, Switzerland denies halting 5G rollouts, 13 February 2020
NASA Earth Observatory, Catalog of Earth Satellite Orbits, September 2019
New China Tv YouTube, LIVE: Huoshenshan Hospital under construction in Wuhan
Princess, How MedallionNet works?
Reuters, Who was first to launch 5G? Depends who you ask, 5 April 2019
Sdx Center, The Top Countries with 5G Deployments and Trials, 24 September 2019
Ship Technology, Cautious sails: Coronavirus (COVID-19) measures and impact on the cruise industry, 30 March 2020
Swisscom, Swisscom flips the switch: Switzerland’s first 5G network is live, 17 April 2019
The Guardian, US dismisses South Korea’s launch of world-first 5G network as ‘stunt’, 4 April 2019
The Interpreter, The public judgment of South Korea’s COVID-19 response, 27 March 2020
Times of Sweden, Parts of Switzerland has halted 5G rollout after health concerns, 14 February 2020
Viavisolution, The State of 5G Deployments, February 2020
WHO, 5G mobile networks and health, 27 February 2020
WHO, Coronavirus disease 2019 Situation Report, 8 April 2020
World Cruise Industry Review, Telenor Maritime - Mobile cruising
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Translation: Hilal Ebru Yakar