The National Communications Authority (NCA), has urged the public to ignore reports linking the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) to the 5G technology network.
According to the Authority, “there is absolutely no link between 5G technology and COVID-19.”
A statement issued by the Authority noted that, “The National Communications Authority (NCA) has taken note of recent widespread rumours and misinformation about 5G technology and its alleged link with the COVID-19 virus. The NCA wishes to state categorically that there is absolutely no link between 5G technology and COVID-19. The public is therefore advised to disregard the misleading videos and audios circulating on social media.”
This follows claims about a supposed connection between 5G and Covid-19 which has been circulating on the internet, where followers perpetuated the hoax that global elites were using 5G to spread the virus.
Whereas some conspiracy theories advocate that since 5G suppresses the immune system, it could be blamed for the pandemic, others claim the virus is using the network’s radio waves to communicate and pick victims to accelerate its spread.
But these, the NCA says must be dismissed because they lack basic science.
The Authority further noted that, “there have been over 50 years of scientific research about the potential health risk associated with radiations from radio frequency signals and telecommunication installations. The World Health Organisation (WHO) reports that no evidence has been found to conclude that exposure to RF radiations are harmful to human health despite extensive research to date.”
The NCA however assured the public that, radiations from mobile base stations in Ghana are safe amidst the Coronavirus fears, even as the fifth generation (5G), which is the next generation of mobile technology has not yet been deployed in Ghana.
“The general public is assured that all mobile technologies are safe. As part of its regulatory mandate, the NCA in collaboration with the relevant state institutions will continue to measure and check compliance to the safety levels of RF exposure to ensure protection of all users of communication services including 5G (when it becomes available in Ghana) and future advanced technologies. The Authority further assures the public that there is absolutely no relationship between any mobile technology and COVID-19,” it noted.
Currently, Ghana has recorded 387 cases of COVID-19 with six deaths and 3 recoveries.
NCA’s measures to ensure safety of consumers
The NCA, as part of its consumer protection mandate, has established a Type Approval laboratory with test and measurement equipment for Radio Frequencies (RF), Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) and Specific Absorption Rate (SAR).
The laboratory undertakes measurements to ascertain the safety of mobile devices (phones, tablets, etc) and field measurements of radiations from mobile base stations at frequencies below 6GHz which is the range of frequencies for 2G, 3G and 4G in Ghana.
Future 5G deployments in Ghana will also utilize some frequencies below 6GHz as well as higher frequencies and within safe limits.
The measurements taken by the NCA clearly indicate that the non-ionizing radiations from mobile base stations are even more stringent and safer than those set by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), which is the international body responsible for safe use of non-ionizing radiation.
Additionally, in 2019, the NCA contracted independent private agencies to audit all base station masts or towers in Ghana for structural integrity and to assess the level of radiations from all the sites.
The audit reports confirmed that radiation levels are significantly lower than the ICNIRP reference levels.