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Fact Check-Posts claim removal of 5G antenna in Peru caused COVID-19 to ‘disappear’ - but the mast was dismantled in Nov. 2019

A post that claims residents in Miraflores, Peru forced authorities to dismantle a 5G antenna disguised as a tree is missing context. It says locals were suffering from pneumonia and a blood clotting disorder until its removal, after which COVID-19 “disappeared” in the area. However, the mast was taken down in November 2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

One Facebook user posted a screenshot of a tweet ( here ), which also appeared to include a video, that was written by a user with a private profile.

The tweet reads: “Residents of Miraflores in Peru, who suffered from unusual pneumonia and disseminated intravascular coagulation, forced the municipality authorities to remove a 5G tower disguised as a tree. And with that, Covid miraculously disappeared in the area.”

The Twitter user’s post (from a private account) has been shared more than a dozen times, and screenshots of it can be found on Facebook ( here ) and Twitter ( here ).

Versions of the video that appeared to be included in the tweet can be found on BitChute (see frame at time stamp 1:45) ( here ) ( here ) and ( here ) and BrandNewTube ( here ).

The social media posts fail to mention, however, that the scene predates the pandemic. A local government press release about the mast being dismantled was published on Nov. 30, 2019, ( here ), months before Peru’s first recorded case of coronavirus ( here ).

A video posted on the local government’s Facebook page suggests it was removed on Nov. 29, 2019 ( here ).

The 30-metre tower was constructed without official authorization, according to Hugo Zevallos of the Municipality of Miraflores ( bit.ly/3x82enO ), who added that the company responsible had been fined more than 8,000 Sols (around £1,730 or $2,156).

The local government press release makes no specific reference to 5G, calling it “a radio and cell phone transmission antenna”. These is also no evidence it was a 5G mast.

5G technology is the fifth-generation mobile network that delivers faster internet, lower response times and the ability to connect billions of more devices ( here ). During the COVID-19 pandemic it became the target of numerous conspiracy theories, including that 5G – not the coronavirus – was making people sick ( here ), or that vaccines were a ploy to connect people to 5G ( here ).

According to Peruvian news outlets, the Ministry of Transport and Communications said in June 2020 that there were no 5G antennas in the country and that they would not start being utilized until 2021 or early 2022 ( here ) and ( here ).

Other outlets have addressed the claims in fact-checks ( here ) and ( here ).

VERDICT

False. The antenna was dismantled prior to COVID-19 arriving in Peru and there is no evidence it was 5G-capable.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here.

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