39 BT engineers attacked, 33 masts damaged in UK over 5G coronavirus conspiracy theories
London, April 14, 2020 (AltAfrica)-SOME 39 BT engineers in United Kingdom, UK have been physically or verbally attacked including threats to kill by yobs who believe 5G network causes coronavirus.
BT chief executive Philip Jansen spoke out about the problem in a bid to protect his staff from further attacks and stop the spread of the conspiracy theory.
Already, citizen protests and political opposition have led to Switzerland suspending the installation of 5G network antennas in parts of the country until there is more data on the real impact on health as many European countries have suspended or delayed the roll out over same fears
Before the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) it was still possible to at least understand those with fears about 5G, however unfounded, because they stemmed from having seen factually incorrect social media posts or crazy YouTube videos; all of which lacked much credible understanding of the basic science or existing research
Mr Jansen, who is recovering from mild symptoms of coronavirus, said it was a situation he had “never imagined” that his staff would be under threat from people who wrongly thought the new 5G network could trigger Covid-19 symptoms or suppress the immune system.
The BT boss wrote in the Mail on Sunday: “11 of our mobile masts have been destroyed or damaged through arson – and 33 across all operators in the UK so far.
“That may not sound a lot, but if the site that provides coverage to your house gets burned down, it matters.
“Everything about this is senseless. There’s no thought for the validity of the theories – many openly contradict themselves; all ignore the very basic principles of science.”
Some believe that coronavirus does not exist, and it is a cover up for problems caused by 5G.
Mr Jansen added: “Most of the sites attacked don’t even carry 5G.
“This week, we’ve seen telephone poles wrapped in barbed wire to stop our engineers doing their job.
“Those poles carry fixed phone lines, they’re nothing to do with mobile. It’s hard to know where to begin to use science, logic or reason to debunk something so devoid of reality.”
“Most people seem to be getting their theories from YouTube, Whatsapp, or private groups on Facebook,” he added.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has spoken out about the false theories, saying: “Viruses cannot travel on radio waves/mobile networks. Covid-19 is spreading in many countries that do not have 5G mobile networks.
“Covid-19 is spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks.
“People can also be infected by touching a contaminated surface and then their eyes, mouth or nose.”
The theory originated last month after a video filmed at a US health conference claimed Africa was not as affected by the disease because it is “not a 5G region”.
Vandals then set masts in Birmingham, Liverpool and Merseyside on fire.
A spokesperson from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said last week: “We have received several reports of criminal damage to phone masts and abuse of telecoms engineers apparently inspired by crackpot conspiracy theories circulating online.
“Those responsible for criminal acts will face the full force of the law.
“We must also see social media companies acting responsibly and taking much swifter action to stop nonsense spreading on their platforms, which encourages such acts.”
Sun UK reports that National Medical Director of NHS England Stephen Powis has previously said: “[It’s] complete and utter rubbish and the worst kind of fake news.