Bizarre '5G caused coronavirus' conspiracy theory that spread on YouTube is still going viral on WhatsApp

A CONSPIRACY theory claiming that 5G has caused the coronavirus outbreak is doing the rounds on WhatsApp.

The concept is thought to have gained popularity last month when a YouTube video supporting the claims was heavily criticised for spreading bogus information during a very real crisis.

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The video was filmed at a US health conference.

It shows a presentation by Dr. Thomas Cowan and was published by the account Parents for Healthcare Rights.

During his presentation Cowan claims that Africa was not as affected by the coronavirus outbreak because it is "not a 5G region".

However, since the video was published the World Health Organization has confirmed thousands of Covid-19 cases in Africa.

The claims have largely been slammed and debunked online but that hasn't stopped some people taking to Twitter trying to prove Cowan's point.

Now, Twitter is full of people highlighting that the 5G theory is spreading via a lengthy WhatsApp voice note.

There are also those that are highlighting that 5G should not be connected to the respiratory virus.

Other people have stressed that the human race had faced deadly virus outbreaks way before the invention of mobile phones.

This includes the 1918 Spanish flu that ended up infecting around 500 million people.

We have reached out to WhatsApp for comment.

What is 5G?

Here's what you need to know…

  • The term 5G stands for 5th-generation, and is simply the next "version" of mobile phone networks.
  • The world's network operators have settled on a new method of delivering mobile internet to your phone, making it possible to offer far higher download speeds.
  • Early figures suggest you'll be able to download 4K movies in a matter of seconds, and buffering video will be a thing of the past.
  • But 5G also promises low "latency" – the physical delay in transmitting data – which is a major boon for gamers, who desperately need their online actions to be sent and received as quickly as possible.
  • EE is first across the line in the UK, with 5G live in London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Birmingham or Manchester.
  • The good news is that EE plans to roll out 5G in a further 10 cities by the end of 2019: Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds, Hull, Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester, Coventry and Bristol.
  • Vodafone has also switched on 5G in seven cities: Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool, and London.

In other news, WhatsApp coronavirus text hoaxes are spreading like wildfire.

One hoax is attempting to fool users with a message about a mysterious "dance of the pope".

Your internet may be getting slower as the coronavirus outbreak causes a huge surge in web traffic.

Have you spotted any reports linking coronavirus to 5G? Let us know in the comments…

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