Did you know Coronavirus can spread through currency notes? Here’s what you can do about it

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has promoted the use of Digital Payment Services to limit the COVID-19 crisis and to avoid contact with currency notes etc.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed that the novel coronavirus can live on the surface of currency notes as well. The organization has issued a worldwide recommendation, advising against the use of tangible currency (cash notes, debit/credit, and coins) to limit the spread of the virus.

Countries like China have been greatly affected by the pandemic and have taken specific measures to disinfect banknotes. They have started putting currency notes through a high-heat ‘laundering’ process to get rid of traces of the virus before releasing them to the public.

The US Federal Reserve has also begun quarantining notes repatriated from Asia before recirculating them in the US financial system.

Pakistan must also take steps like this as according to details, about 80% of all transactions in the country are cash-based. Paper currency is the preferred mode of payment for businesses and individuals.

What can be done:

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has promoted the use of Digital Payment Services to limit the COVID-19 crisis and to avoid contact with currency notes etc.

SBP has also instructed all banks to waive off transactional charges for customers using their online funds transfer services including Intra and Interbank Fund Transfers (IBFT). It has also advised banks to run campaigns on print, social and electronic media to promote the use of Alternate Delivery Channels (ADCs) to limit the use of currency notes and minimize branch visits.

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