05:59 GMT28 May 2020
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    COVID-19 Puts Nations on Hold (281)

    Incidents have escalated after conspiracy linked 5G to the spread of the coronavirus. Trade organisation Mobile UK claims that twenty more cases of attacks 5G masts have been reported over the past weekend. Similar incidents also took place in the Netherlands and the Republic of Ireland.

    The comments come after concerns were raised that such incidents may have been sparked by the increasing prevalence of online conspiracy theories, which claim that there is a link between the 5G masts and the spread of the coronavirus.

    Scientists, as well as leading British health and government officials, have re-iterated that there is no concrete evidence to suggest that 5G radiation causes physical ailments or diseases, with Professor Stephen Powis, national medical director for NHS England, calling the claims "outrageous" and "absolute and utter rubbish", and  Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove, dubbing the links “dangerous nonsense”, in last Saturday’s daily COVID-19 briefing.

    Tech giants YouTube and Facebook have now taken measures to address the matter, with the former banning videos linking 5G masts with the spread of the coronavirus, and the latter preventing users from forwarding a message to more than one chat at a time in its WhatsApp service, in a bid to clamp down on disinformation.

    The controversy has also been at the forefront of debate in the British House of Commons in recent weeks, with leading Conservative Party backbenchers such as Iain-Duncan Smith calling on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to pull out of the deal he had previously agreed with Chinese firm Huawei, which would see them roll out the UK’s 5G network, as he perceives the installations to be a direct threat to the country’s national security.

    Johnson has however yet to rescind the deal with Huawei, but could face increasing pressure to do so in the aftermath of the coronavirus Pandemic, should relations between China and the West continue to deteriorate.

    COVID-19 Puts Nations on Hold (281)
    Trade, coronavirus, COVID-19, 5G, 5g mobile internet, 5G network, United Kingdom
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