Banknotes may be spreading viral disease, says WHO

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There are fears that coronavirus could be spreading via banknotes. The World Health Organisation has advised people to use contactless technology instead of cash in their transactions.

Chinese and Korean authorities have already begun disinfecting and isolating used banknotes as part of efforts to stem the spread of coronavirus. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has advised people to use contactless technology instead of cash as there are fears that banknotes may be spreading coronavirus.
“We would advise people to wash their hands after handling banknotes, and avoid touching their face,” a WHO spokesperson said. Last month banks in China and Korea began disinfecting and isolating used banknotes as part of efforts to stem the spread of the deadly virus.
Chinese and Korean authorities have already begun disinfecting and isolating used banknotes. Photo: Metro.co.uk Source: Facebook
“The amount of virus that is potentially on an inanimate object is usually very small,” says Dr Christine Tait-Burkard, an expert in infection and immunity at the Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh said in reaction to the news.
“The primary transmission route is via droplets,” says Prof Jürgen Haas, the head of infection medicine at the University of Edinburgh. “These droplets are generated by coughing, and can directly infect another person via airborne infection, or by transmission via hands or other surfaces,” he added.
Mobile phone users are also being advised to give their phones a good clean with alcohol wipes a couple of times a day, especially if they are using their phones for in-store transactions. Similarly, experts in various countries say face masks are not effective in preventing coronavirus.
Dr Hend Al Awadhi, head of health promotion and education section at the Dubai Health Authority’s Public Health Protection Department in the United Arab Emirates, said face masks may do more harm than good. Michael Ryan, the executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme, on Thursday, February 7 said: “If I have to make a choice, I will keep my hands clean, I will use hand sanitizer, I will wash my hands with soap and water.
I would cough into my sleeve, I will ensure that I, you know, when I touch surfaces, that I wash my hands after.”
In a related development, hundreds of international flights have been cancelled due to the outbreak of coronavirus as many international airlines have seen bookings slump because of concerns over the viral disease.
Two of the United Kingdom’s biggest airlines have announced hundreds more flight cancellations due to the disease. While Ryanair is cutting its timetable by a quarter, British Airways has called off more than 400 journeys.

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