By Digital Staff | AAP/7NEWS
One in eight Australians believes Microsoft founder Bill Gates is somehow responsible for coronavirus and the 5G wireless network is to blame for spreading the disease.
The same number of people believe the pandemic is being used to force people into getting vaccinations.
The federal government has been forced to remind people the claims 5G technology is harmful to health are bogus.
“Any suggestions that there is a link between 5G and coronavirus are utterly baseless,” Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said in a statement on Tuesday.
“As the Chief Medical Officer has said, 5G does not cause the coronavirus and it does not spread coronavirus.”
Fletcher added the spreading of misinformation is dangerous and tampering with 5G towers is a criminal offence.
“The Australian government will not tolerate any vandalism of communications infrastructure and I urge Australians to report any suspicious activity to their local police,” Fletcher said.
“Causing damage to mobile phone networks can cut vital connectivity, risking serious harm, even death, if a person is unable to contact Triple Zero.”
A new Essential poll has revealed the proportion of people who believe coronavirus conspiracy theories.
One in five people believes the media and government are exaggerating the death toll to scare the population.
Two in five think the virus was engineered and released from a lab in the Chinese city of Wuhan, which the prime minister has repeatedly said there is no evidence to support.
An overwhelming majority of respondents (77 per cent) said the outbreak in China was much worse than reported in official statistics from Beijing.
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The survey of 1073 people follows small protests across Australia led by 5G-conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers.
Ten people were arrested on May 10 in Melbourne after breaching lockdown rules and clashing with police at a protest.
About 100 people gathered at the steps of Victoria’s state parliament to protest against 5G, vaccinations, Victoria’s lockdown restrictions and what they called the “coronavirus conspiracy”.