Conspiracy theories have come up time and time again throughout this global pandemic. At one point, people believed that 5G was the cause, while others were convinced that a $25,000 machine could cure the virus.
Now, thousands of Victorians have a new theory. And because of it, they have refused to get tested for COVID-19.
WATCH: 10,000 Victorians are refusing to get tested. Post continues below.
As of this morning, 36 Melbourne suburbs are in lockdown and residents are under strict stay at home orders. And despite 150,000 people being tested during this week alone, Victoria’s Health Minister Jenny Mikakos has revealed that 10,000 residents have refused it.
"Now that might be for a range of reasons including that they may have already been tested in a different location - we are analysing that data," Mikakos shared.
"It is concerning that the reports that I have received are that some people believe that coronavirus is a conspiracy or that it won’t impact on them."
One theory suggests that individuals are refusing to get tested as they believe the nasal swabs are being used to implement microchips.
This conspiracy theory began on Facebook, with thousands of users sharing a post that claims Bill Gates' foundation has funded efforts to implant microchips into people's noses or throats during the COVID-19 swab.
"There’s no pandemic! What we’re really doing is implanting Bill Gates’ microchip. The Gates Foundation is paying $25k per implanted chip," says on post shared on June 7. An accompanying image has an arrow with the text 'implant microchip here', suggesting it sits on the end of the swab.