Author: Hannah Kronast & Dan Satherley

A new survey has revealed some "very dangerous" figures about the extent of Kiwis who believe conspiracy theories regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

The survey found one in five Kiwis believe the virus behind COVID-19 was created in a lab and one in 10 believe the virus' danger has been exaggerated by health officials.

The survey was carried out by Research NZ at the weekend, and released on Wednesday afternoon, to "establish to what extent New Zealanders believe there is any truth in various facts, and alternative (or conspiracy) theories around COVID-19".

Scientists who have analysed the SARS-CoV-2 virus' RNA code have deduced there's no way it could have been made in a lab, as US President Donald Trump once suggested. 

A study carried out by a Chinese virologist also recently claimed to have found evidence it was manufactured but mainstream experts dismissed it as almost "entirely fictional" and the conclusions "unsubstantiated".

Research NZ managing partner Emanuel Kalafatelis told Newshub it was "very concerning" 20 percent of Kiwis believe COVID-19 was lab-made.

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