Last Updated: 15th December, 2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Cash Handling: On the verge of the vicious coronavirus scare, there have been numerous claims circulating online. Once such claim was: “The World Health Organization (WHO) has advised people to manage contactless payments instead of cash to reduce the risk of Coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission.”
However, when fact checking was carried out, it was revealed that the WHO clarified later that the statement was misinterpreted. This was not in fact a coronavirus (COVID-19) -specific guidance, and the organization has not issued any official warnings about money handling. But the question over here is – can cash handling put you at risk of the coronavirus (COVID-19)? Here’s what you should undergo!
Coronavirus (COVID-19) And Cash Handling: Let’s Build The Blocks
As per the WHO, Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. Furthermore, WHO has advised that if you think a surface may be infected, clean it with a simple disinfectant.
According to a contemporary study from the National Institutes of Health, one may expose to the virus after touching infected objects/surfaces.
Both theoretically and practically, nonporous as well as porous surfaces can transfer infections. However, porous surfaces (paper, fabrics, etc.) are less likely to transmit infections as compared to nonporous surfaces (glass, metal, etc.) due to be minute spaced that absorb the infected droplets thus limiting the spread of the virus.
How Can Cash Act As A Medium Of Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Here is how money can act as a medium of virus transfer from one person to another:
- An infected person coughs into his hands.
- Handles cash without following hand hygiene.
- The virus gets transferred and stays on the paper money.
- A healthy person receives this cash.
- Touch his eyes/nose/mouth without following hand hygiene.
- Healthy people get infected.
- The cash is likely to pass further, and the cycle continues.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) And Cash Handling: Takeaways
- Though there are no clear-cut guidelines on this, cash handling, may serve as a significant source of spread of infection.
- Any cash exchange will also increase contact among people and involve visiting and using an ATM, thus breaching social distancing, which may again increase the risk of infection.
- Coins can transmit viruses more than paper money as it is a nonporous surface (metal).
What’s The Way Out Of Coronavirus (COVID-19) And Cash Handling?
- Switch to online payment modes.
- Inhibit the use of money. (Even cards)
- Wash your hands often.
- Keep a sanitizer handy while handling money.
Stay on utmost alert, DO NOT panic and make others learn about the same.