The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that contaminated banknotes can potentially exacerbate the Coronavirus outbreak and urged the world to use contactless payment options to avoid contracting the virus.
According to a WHO Spokesperson, COVID-19 not only spreads through droplets and direct contact with infected patients but it also spreads through contaminated objects.
Since money changes hands frequently, it can pick all sorts of viruses and bacteria. To minimize the risk of disease, people should use contactless payment options wherever possible. In case people touch banknotes, they must wash hands and avoid touching their faces.
While it remains unclear how long Coronavirus can survive without a host, several studies have claimed that COVID-19 can stay active between 9 to 14 days on contaminated surfaces.
Banks in China and South Korea are disinfecting and isolating used banknotes in a bid to contain the spread of the deadly virus since last month.
The People’s Bank of China uses ultraviolet light and high temperature to disinfect and sterilize the banknotes. After that, the banknotes are quarantined for two weeks before being released into the market.
Although the Bank of England has acknowledged that banknotes can carry bacteria and viruses, it has ruled out the possibility of following in the footsteps of China and South Korea to disinfect them. Instead, the UK’s central bank has suggested people to frequently wash hands and minimize human contact to keep themselves safe from the disease.
Besides banknotes, ATMs, ticket machines, door handles, and handrails can potentially contain the Coronavirus.
COVID-19, which originated from China, has now spread across the globe killing nearly 3200 people and infecting 93,000, according to the latest reports.