China cleans, locks away banknotes to stop virus spread
SEE ALSO: Chinese pump Sh100m into projectsOffice buildings have installed packets of tissue in elevators that tenants are encouraged to use when pressing buttons, while ride-hailing company Didi exhorts drivers to disinfect their cars daily. - 'Emergency issuance' - Fan Yifei, deputy governor of China's central bank, said Saturday that banks have been urged to provide new banknotes to customers whenever possible. The central bank made an "emergency issuance" of four billion yuan in new notes to Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, prior to the recent Lunar New Year holiday, Fan added. The measures are intended to "secure the public's safety and health when using cash", Fan said.
SEE ALSO: President Uhuru’s 2019 State visitsBut it is unclear how wide an impact the central bank's disinfection work will have, with increasing numbers of Chinese people preferring mobile payments over cash in recent years. In 2017, nearly three quarters of Chinese respondents told an Ipsos survey they could survive a whole month without using more than 100 yuan in cash. According to the World Health Organization, COVID-19 can be spread through contaminated objects in addition to droplets and direct contact with infected patients.
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