As the world continues to fight against the Coronavirus epidemic, the World Health Organization has urged people to shift to cashless transactions on the back of presumption that banknotes may be carriers of the virus. In other case, if cashless transactions are not possible, the WHO has asked people to rigorously wash hands after handling cash.
“We would advise people to wash their hands after handling banknotes, and avoid touching their face,” said a WHO spokesperson while talking to Telegraph.
“When possible it would also be advisable to use contactless payments to reduce the risk of transmission,” the spokesperson added.
The same deduction has been acknowledged by the Bank of England that banknotes “can carry bacteria or viruses and encouraged frequent hand washing”.
“Like any other surface that large numbers of people come into contact with, notes can carry bacteria or viruses,” the Bank’s spokesperson was quoted by Telegraph.
“However, the risk posed by handling a polymer note is no greater than touching any other common surface, such as handrails, doorknobs or credit cards,” it added.
Given the threat, banknotes may pose and their role in the spread of the COVID-19, banks in China and South Korea are sanitizing used notes by ultraviolet light or high temperature. After the process of sterilization, the notes are being quarantined for 14 days before getting recirculated in the market.