London, April 5 (IANS) UK Cabinet Secretary Michael Gove has called the conspiracy theories linking 5G masts with the spread of the novel coronavirus as “dangerous nonsense”, the media reported.
Videos purportedly showing masts deliberately set on fire were posted on social media after theories about the link between the 5G mobile technology and COVID-19 circulated online, said the Metro nespaper in a report on Saturday.
Fire crews in the West Midlands and Merseyside have been called out to extinguish the masts and Mobile UK, the trade body representing network providers, has said people were “abusing our key workers and making threats to damage infrastructure under the pretence of claims about 5G”.
Asked about the rumours at a Downing Street coronavirus briefing on Saturday, Gove dismissed them as “dangerous nonsense”.
NHS England’s national medical director Professor Stephen Powis called the rumours “complete and utter rubbish”, adding: “It’s the worst kind of fake news.”
I am absolutely outraged, absolutely disgusted, that people would be taking action against the very infrastructure that we need to respond to this health emergency.
“It is absolute, utter rubbish and I can’t condemn it in terms stronger than that,” the newspaper quoted Powis as saying.
Scientists have also completely rejected the claims.
While Michael Head, senior research fellow in global health at the University of Southampton, said “conspiracy theorists are a public health danger”, Adam Finn, professor of paediatrics at the University of Bristol, said that “damaging phone masts is like knocking holes in your lifeboats while your ship sinks”.
The UK has reported a total 42,479 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 4,320 deaths.