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An official of the World Health Organisation (WHO) says bank notes may spread coronavirus disease.

Speaking with UK Telegraph, a WHO spokesman said banknotes move from one hand to the other, thereby increasing its chances of spreading the virus.

The official recommended the use of contactless payments and the washing of hands after handling banknotes.

“Yes it’s possible (that banknotes could be spreading coronavirus) and it’s a good question. We know that money changes hands frequently and can pick up all sorts of bacteria and viruses and things like that,” he said.

“We would advise people to wash their hands after handling banknotes, and avoid touching their face. When possible it’s a good idea to use contactless payments.”

A study involving a total of 1280 bank notes obtained from food outlets had shown that bacteria species often crawl across bank notes.

The study titled “dirty money: an investigation into the hygiene status of some of the world’s currencies as obtained from food outlets”, was carried out in 10 different countries including Australia, Burkina Faso, China, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

It revealed that the “presence of bacteria on banknotes often influenced the material of the notes”.

Coronavirus disease has spread through 64 countries with a total of 88,948 confirmed cases and 3,043 deaths.

On Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group said its spring meetings scheduled to hold in April will be held virtually as a result of the coronavirus spread.






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