Is exchanging currency notes also spreading coronavirus?

Is exchanging currency notes also spreading coronavirus?

The World Health Organisation had suggested that dirty banknotes may become the cause of spreading novel coronavirus, suggesting people to switch to digital payments instead. While the virus has claimed over 1.93 million lives worldwide and infected more than 90.3 million lives across the globe, the governments of different countries are trying to control the spread without taking extreme measures that might disrupt the state of calm.  

Let’s just agree, for some time we were all sceptical when it came to deal with money. Whether it was for getting groceries from the nearby Kirana store, collecting rent, or even withdrawing money from the ATM. For some, there was an involuntary reaction to sanitize the notes as soon as they collected them, and that was justifiable. No one wanted to be the carrier of the Covid-19.

With a spike in the cases, the government has initiated preventive measures in public places to control it to some extent. Wearing a mask, temperature screening, sanitizing dispensers, and 6 feet social distancing are some of the rules made mandatory in public places like malls, corporate offices, airports, theatres. Routine sanitization has been made mandatory in places that get large crowds in order to terminate the strain’s vitality and impact to commute. 

While there is no conclusive scientific study that links the spread of the current strain of coronavirus to contaminated currency notes, the World Health Organisation has advised taking measures to maintain proper hygiene post handling of notes.

What does the recent study say? (h2)

According to the research conducted by Australia’s top biosecurity laboratory, the SARS-CoV-2 strain can remain infectious for weeks on banknotes, glass, and paper currency. Being extremely robust it can survive up to 28 days on a smooth surface at room temperature.

In an experiment conducted to measure sustainability, the scientist put the novel coronavirus on dried mucus and left it on different surfaces in a dark room(to block the ultraviolet rays from the sun that weakens the virus) for a month. They found that the virus survived longer on smooth surfaces like glass, plastic, and steel. And it also thrived longer on paper currency notes than the plastic ones. Some strains of coronavirus may live for a few minutes on paper, while others can live up to 5 days.

Cold weather may act as a catalyst for the Covid-19 

A dip in the temperature has raised certain concerns about the current situation. With cold and flu being a norm in the season there’s a plethora of doubt and worry in people. Like the influenza virus, SARS-CoV-2 is an enveloped virus. Having a lipid or fatty outer membrane which helps in maintaining the structural integrity of the virus, allowing the transmission of its RNA to appropriate host cells, where it can replicate and initiate a new infection, this thickened membrane may allow the virus to survive at cooler temperatures which can increase its mobility from one person to another.

Even though the cash flow in the economy has dipped, the demand for physical currency will always be there. And this has raised the concern of the spreading of the covid-19 virus in closed quarters and confined spaces like ATMs & Grocery stores.      


Precautions taken at an individual level can help significantly in controlling the spread. Some of the methods that we can adopt in recent times to control the spread and lead a healthy life are:

1: Avoid going to public and crowded places until absolutely necessary and exchanging currency for goods and services.

2: Carry a strong sanitiser (with at least 60% alcohol), and use it frequently. (on notes, cards, grocery bags)

3: Wipe clean things that you suspected are contaminated. In which cases sanitizer spray/wipes work best. 

4: If you are engaging in currency notes daily then a portable sanitizer dispenser like HiGenie’s Slinky, a touchless infrared sensor dispenser is the right choice for you. Compact, hassle-free installation and with sensor motion this dispenser is suitable to be ported anywhere and everywhere you go. 

5: Digital payment is the new norm. Google pay, Paytm, and phone pay are some of the big names when it comes to digital payment modes. Pretty easy to use, these methods have gained popularity in the pandemic era. By simply scanning the QR code, make payments on the go from your digital wallets to your vendor, eradicating the chance of spread and contamination via currency notes.

In the light of the growing spread of viruses and a lesson that we need to learn to make sure that our future generation is safe while exchanging currencies or touching surfaces, HiGenie has developed sanitizing solutions with the latest Infrared technology. Our dispensers Swift and Bulge can be easily wall mounted in ATMs, banks, cash-counters making it easier for everyone to sanitize their cash and hands. The touchless dispensers ensure that there is no possibility of cross-contamination because of common touchpoints. Furthermore, Slinky, our portable touchless dispenser is also an effective sanitizing solution that has been developed keeping in mind the need of having an effective sanitizing device in hand and on the go.

So the next time when you hit an ATM or a bank remember that you can always carry HiGenie with you as your personal bodyguard that will keep your safe robustly against all kinds of invisible enemies.

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