Conspiracists are bizarrely claiming the UK could be hit harder by coronavirus because of the rollout of the 5G network, a claim that has been dismissed by scientists.
Currently there are 3,983 confirmed cases of Covid-19 across Britain and Northern Ireland.
As coronavirus has ripped across the globe, a new conspiracy theory has found an eager audience: that the symptoms of the virus - high fever, coughing and shortness of breath - are actually the human body responding to exposure to 5G.
The theory has been shot down by experts, who have pointed out that coronavirus cases have been identified in many areas with no 5G networks.
Anti-5G critics based in the UK accept the virus likely began in a market in Wuhan and travelled here through human transmission. But they bizarrely believe the 5G networks helps the spread of the virus.
But they're concerned the ultra-fast network currently operating in almost 100 locations around Britain could be helping it to spread more quickly, despite a lack of scientific proof to stand up their unfounded claims.
Activist Louise Thomas, based in Somerset, told Daily Star Online: "We can't say 5G has caused the coronavirus, but it might be exacerbating it."
Tanja Rebel, another activist and philosophy lecturer at the Isle of Wight College, told us: "Many studies show that Electro-Magnetic Radiation (EMR) suppresses the immune system and that it helps viruses and bacteria thrive.
"So EMR and in particular 5G could act as an accelerator for the disease. We do not know for sure, but common sense and the precautionary principle decree that we urgently need a moratorium on the roll-out of 5G until we can show that it is safe."
Public Health England (PHE) has publicly stated there is no "convincing evidence" that exposure to radiation at a level below the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation guidelines will cause adverse health effects.
That safe level is 300GHz, while the level of radiation from 5G will likely only be as high as the tens of GHz.
PHE has been approached for comment on these specific claims from activists.
The new 5G network is being rolled out incrementally across the UK
The “precautionary principle” says that governments and societies should react with caution to anything with the potential to cause catastrophic damage which is not yet well-understood by science.
Italy, now the country with the highest coronavirus death toll, had 5G networks installed in five cities in 2019 with plans to extend coverage throughout 2020. However Iran, which has also been badly affected by the pandemic, has no 5G networks at all, disputing this theory.
A 2011 study from Northeastern University in Boston indicated that some single-celled bacteria, such as E.coli, may communicate with each other using "radio waves".
Very little is known about Covid-19, the novel coronavirus at the heart of the current pandemic, but research has shown that viruses "talk to each other" when making decisions about infecting a host.
Activists are now calling for the government to put a stop to the 5G rollout in what they believe to be the interests of public health, despite repeated assurances from experts that the network radiation poses no threat.
"Especially in today's situation it is paramount that we do not play further with lives," Rebel said. "Anything else would be deeply reckless."
There have been reports of 5G masts being vandalised and telecoms engineers harassed by member of the public who believe the coronavirus conspiracy theory.
Communications regulator Ofcom has warned this behaviour poses a "serious threat" to people's safety, adding: "We would like to emphasise that there is no relationship whatsoever between 5G mobile signals and the coronavirus.
"Vandalism to mobile phone masts mean other services using those masts stop working. These services could include 3G, 4G and mobile call services.
"This means people can't call the emergency services or contact their family. It could also mean that some of the communications equipment used by the emergency services is unable to work properly."
Anyone with concerns about how coronavirus is spread can follow the latest advice from the NHS here.