The rapid global spread of Coronavirus has spread caused widespread panic among the common people and now people are particularly scared of transmissions from surfaces to humans, and that includes currency notes. Most people in India use cash as the preferred mode of payment. Most people are wary of using currency notes as they fear that the notes may be contaminated even if people are following Coronavirus safety measures
Recent studies have indicated that the virus is transmitted via droplets that may be transferred to dry surfaces from humans and then it is transmitted to humans too. However, there is not enough scientific evidence that COVID-19 may spread via currency notes.
As per the University of California, the University of Princeton, US’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is every possibility of the virus, SARS-CoV-2 surviving for up to four hours on copper and it stays for another twenty-four hours on cardboard and other materials such as plastic and stainless steel, it lasts for about days. It is important to avoid plastic. The currency scare is so real that there have been people washing currency in water to stop the transmission.
Can Covid-19 Spread Through Currency Notes – How Long Does the Virus Stay on Surfaces?
The load decreases just within a few days, and viruses keep on thriving in the living cell. If they are left untouched, they start degrading. And since the virus is supposed to thrive on surfaces we have to either sanitize them or wait till the infection goes down. That is why most people are asked not to touch their faces, after touching a surface and they must wash their hands frequently to keep their hands clean and virus-free.
Experts think that one must exercise more caution while handling coins, as the virus is more dangerous on coins than paper currencies. For greater caution, one can use protective gear such as gloves and alcohol-based sanitizers (containing more than 65 percent alcohol). People who regularly handle currency such as shopkeepers must be extra careful.
What Does Cash Management Companies Have to Say
Can Covid-19 spread through currency notes? Cash management companies, however, think that currencies are not instrumental in spreading the COVID-19 virus, especially when precautions are taken to stop the spread. Most people are wearing masks and are sanitizing before pressing the button for cash at ATM’s. Most currency is sorted through machines and poses a minimum threat to the spread of the virus.
Pressing Concerns on the Global Stage
Concerns about currencies have been reiterated in every country. The Peoples’ Bank of China has upped the ante in protecting their cash with the help of ultraviolet light, extremely high temperatures, undergoing a quarantine period of 14 days, and in some cases destroying the cash. The United States has asked the Federal Reserve and Treasury to maintain the safety of bank bills.
The World Health Organization has stated in a statement that they are not certain how long a virus belonging to the Coronavirus family can last on surfaces. But the time frame depends on several factors such as surface, temperature, or humidity.
Digital Payment is the New Norm
Most institutions around the world have expressed caution but not asked the common people to stop using the currency. Money changes hands and is an active carrier of all kinds of bacteria and viruses and it is a good idea to go for contactless payments.
The RBI or the Reserve Bank of India has issued an advisory dated March 16, asking citizens to opt for various digital forms of payment; it is particularly relevant in the current scenario. It is extremely difficult to go for 100 percent digital payment method but it always makes sense to exercise caution in a pandemic situation and especially when you have choices for other payment options. The digital payment method has several benefits such as going for transactions right at the safe confines of your home and not venturing outside just maintaining social quarantine as per the norm. The other banking methods that a person can easily use are as follows,
- Mobile banking
- Internet banking
- Usage of cards
This can help you avoid using cash in a crowded place; you can resort to using digital payment methods for paying bills.
Stay Safe While Using Currency
Are you withdrawing money from an ATM? Then there are certain tips to follow for the same.
- Always carry a sanitizer with you when you step out of your home, a sanitizer that has at least 60 percent alcohol content.
- Wipe clean things that you suspect are contaminated. In such cases, you can use either a cleaning spray or wipe.
- Do not enter an ATM room if somebody else is using it.
- Carry disinfectants or wipes with you.
- Stop touching your face after touching anything and that includes any common surface or object. If you do touch anything, remember to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
- Be extra careful not to touch anything else in the ATM room.
- Keep a distance of at least one 1-meter with other people.
- If you meet somebody you know acknowledge them from a distance, don’t come near.
- Don’t venture out if you are down with a cold.
- If you feel like hacking or sneezing use a tissue or do the same in the crook of your elbow.
- Dispose of your used wipes or tissues carefully.
COVID-19 has affected more than 100,000 people currently causing a huge number of deaths. The numbers are climbing up steeply and the only way to combat the disease is to stay at home and practice social distancing diligently. Also, when it comes to using money try and use alternative methods of payment such as a digital payment method. If you suffer from any of the Coronavirus symptoms visit any of the top hospitals of Hyderabad to get yourself tested.