Alumni Magazine #5_July 2020_single pages web

is no warrant to this claim. Patrice Motsepe, South African billionaire, had initiated the 5G move already in 2019, ahead of the COVID-19 outbreak. In our opinion, Motsepe’s investment is innovative and through Rain , a new mobile data network provider. We thus believe that 5G is a safe technology and that every person whose movement is limited can make their lives more bearable with the aid of this and related technologies and continue their contribution to the economy. While digital inequality is further highlighted by COVID-19, economic activity, where possible, remains key. Ultimately, it is this economic collective that serves favourably for broader socio-economic stability. Dr Mladen Božanić is senior IC Design Engineer at Azoteq (Pty) Ltd and collaborator to the University of Johannesburg. He writes in his personal capacity. Prof Saurabh Sinha (Electronic Engineer) is Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Internationalisation, University of Johannesburg .

of viruses is still unknown, they are certainly not generated by electromagnetic radiation. Under rare conditions, the virus has most probably transferred through zoonosis. It remains unclear how the relation between COVID-19 and 5G was made in the first place, but it is likely because China was one of the countries that adopted 5G technology early. One of the cities that adopted 5G early was Wuhan, the epicentre of the COVID-19 outbreak. However, 5G deployment started almost simultaneously in the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States. Yes, all of these countries also have an increasing number of COVID-19 cases now, but it took several months for the disease to start spreading, and the initial cases in these countries have been traced to people travelling to or from other outbreak hotspots. And looking back to China – Wuhan was certainly not the only city to deploy 5G – every other major Chinese city is already using 5G and last week China officially declared its epidemic to be over. Thus, it does seem as if a ‘perfect storm’ of conditions may have triggered the unfortunate association – but this is due to an observation made from the surface only – if looked at in detail, there

note that equipment that uses millimetre-wave, other than 5G, has been used for some two decades – the radar in parking distance sensors radiates at 77 GHz. There is a small chance that there could be long-term effects of prolonged millimetre- wave exposure, such as a chance of cancer development (as is the case with any other group of electromagnetic radiation); however, scientific studies conducted to date could not find a close correlation of this. More long-term studies on millimetre-wave cancer association are needed to get an exact answer, but at present it seems unlikely that this exposure will be more harmful than spending a few minutes in the sun or having some processed meat or a glass of wine (both known to cause cancer in humans). This is why the answer to the second question earlier in the text is maybe . Lastly, we need to try to find the relation between COVID-19 and 5G. The answer here is a firm no. SARS-CoV-2 is a virus (a sub microscopic infectious agent), and 5G is an electronics-based technology. There is no way whatsoever that these could be related. Although the origin



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