CHANDIGARH: Deputy commissioners and district police chiefs across Haryana have been directed to take "strict, coercive and immediate action" against miscreants spreading rumours linking 5G network technology to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, officials said on Thursday.
In his directive, Chief Secretary Vijai Vardhan said such misinformation has led to incidents of some misguided elements damaging mobile towers and asked the officials to ensure that the telecom and related infrastructure is safeguarded.
"As you might be aware misinformation attributing the fatalities and health problems being faced by people due to COVID-19 virus, is being attributed to the testing of 5G towers. This has led to some incidents in the state resulting in mobile towers/network being damaged by some misguided elements," Vardhan wrote in his letter to the deputy commissioners and senior superintendents of police/superintendents of police.
He said WHO has clarified that such rumours are misplaced as viruses cannot travel on radio wave/mobile network.
Vardhan also mentioned that the Department of Telecommunications under the Union government has also clarified that linking the 5G network technology with COVID-19 pandemic has no scientific basis.
"Besides, the testing of 5G network has not yet started in India. Hence, the apprehension that 5G trials/networks are causing corona virus in India is baseless and devoid of any merit," he wrote.
"I would, therefore, advise you to safeguard telecom infrastructure and other related assets in your district and take strict, coercive and immediate action against any miscreant spreading such misleading rumours," he added.
The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) on Sunday said it has urged the Haryana government to curb misinformation being spread regarding 5G testing being responsible for the spread of COVID-19.
In a letter to Vardhan, the telecom operators said some miscreants are spreading rumours that deaths and health problems faced by people due to COVID-19 are caused by testing of 5G technology.
These rumours are spreading at a time when 5G testing has not even started in the country, the COAI had said in a statement here.
Telecom operators have kept Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh out of their list of places for testing 5G network, the association had said.
"We would like to state that such misinformation or rumors being spread are baseless, and there is no evidence or fact to suggest that there is any harmful effect of the 5G services with relation to COVID-19," it said.