The World Health Organisation (WHO) has identified banknotes as a possible route for the spread of Coronavirus and are encouraging people to use contactless methods.
WHO has warned the infectious virus could be carried and spread on the surface of bank notes. The advice is for everyone to wash their hands thoroughly after touching or handling money. Bank notes and even coins can carry Coronavirus and other germs.
Coronavirus can be spread through contaminated objects as well as droplets and direct contact with infected patients, WHO said.
“We know that money changes hands frequently and can pick up all sorts of bacteria and viruses,” a spokesman told the UK’s Daily Telegraph newspaper.
“We would advise people to wash their hands after handling banknotes, and avoid touching their face.
“When possible it would also be advisable to use contactless payments to reduce the risk of transmission.”
A spokesperson for the Bank of England confirmed to The Telegraph cash could carry viruses.
The risk of handling an infected bank note is no more than touching a surface such as handrails, doorknobs or credit cards.
In China last month, the government announced that money from hospitals and areas hit hardly by Coronavirus would be destroyed while money in ‘at-risk’ areas would be sanitised and quarantined before being released back into circulation.
China previously told lenders to disinfect and store banknotes in a dry area for seven days as part of the battle to contain the virus, a local newspaper reported on Wednesday, according to Reuters.
The Beijing branch of China’s banking and insurance regulator (CBIRC) did not specify how the notes would be cleaned, but encouraged banks to increase the frequency of disinfection of public places, such as counters and public appliances such as password-entry devices.
Please make sure you share this story with friends and family and don’t forget to wash your hands with soap and water after touching money.
Sources: World Health Organisation, Yahoo News, Daily Telegraph