Explained: How China is cleaning bank notes, disinfecting them to stop spread of coronavirus
Beijing, Feb 7: The central bank authorities of China have taken a number of actions as part of efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus-COVID19 that has killed over 1,770 in the country and almost 70,000 cases have been confirmed.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Covid-19 can be spread through contaminated objects in addition to droplets and direct contact with infected patients.
Though the researchers have still not been able to find how long the Wuhan Coronavirus survives on a particular surface, but the Current data has revealed that it can survive on the surface for at least few hours or even days.
A study conducted by Julia M. Martiz, Centre for Genomics and Systems Biology at New York University in 2017 revealed that $1 bills in New York possessed over 397 species of bacteria on it and if someone with the flu handles it, that virus has been shown to survive for up to 12 days.
How are the banks disinfecting the notes?
It is reported that the Banks are using ultraviolet light or high temperatures to disinfect banknotes, then locking them away for seven to 14 days depending on the severity of the outbreak before recirculating them as part of efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
According to Fan Yifei, deputy governor of the People's Bank of China, said that the cash collected by commercial bank from hospitals and food markets must be handled separately and disinfected before depositing the notes.
"The collected cash from key severely hit regions will be sanitized with ultraviolet rays or heated and stored for at least 14 days, before it is distributed again. While in the affected areas, the bank notes must be disinfected and stored for a week before use,'' he added.
Fan Yifei further said that the banks have been urged to provide new banknotes to customers whenever possible.
They have also introduced fresh cash worth 600 billion yuan for locations like Hubei which is considered the epicenter for the COVID19 outbreak.
According to a report by Nanfang, a state-owned outlet in Guangdong Province, a People's Bank of China branch in Guangzhou is even destroying bank notes that came from hospitals, food markets and public transportation,
However, it is unclear how wide an impact the central bank's disinfection work will have, with increasing numbers of Chinese people preferring mobile payments over cash in recent years.