13:38 GMT16 June 2021
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    As India reels under the second wave of COVID, a lot of information is being circulated around the subject on social media. Some Indians are unable to distinguish between genuine information and fake news.

    Vijai Vardhan, the chief secretary of the Indian state of Haryana, on Friday ordered to safeguard telecom infrastructure and other related assets from potential vandalism.

    In his notice, Vardhan instructed security authorities to take strict and immediate action against anyone spreading misleading unformation linking 5G network trials with the spread of COVID.

    "Misinformation attributing the fatalities and health problems being faced by people due to the 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. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has clarified that such rumours are misplaced as viruses cannot travel on radio waves or mobile networks", Vardhan's letter to the district magistrates and police inspectors of his state read.

    In recent days, fake news claiming that "5G radiation" from telecom towers "mixes with the air and makes it poisonous which results in breathing issues and the deaths of people" has gone viral in India.

    On 10 May, India's Department of Telecommunication (DoT) also released a statement clarifying that linking 5G network technology with the COVID-19 pandemic has no scientific basis.

    Earlier this month, police authorities in Uttar Pradesh issued a clarification, emphasising that COVID-caused deaths are in no way related to "5G rays".

    The Uttar Pradesh police authorities were compelled to release an official statement after people from the Fatehpur, Siddharthnagar, Gorakhpur, and Sultanpur districts of the state began threatening to disrupt 5G trials and uproot telecom towers.





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