China has quarantined used bank notes to contain the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus

Medical staff carry out checks on patients in Wuhan Fangcang hospital, a makeshift hospital to treat Covid-19 patients in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, 14 February 2020. T. EPA-EFE/STRINGER

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China has quarantined used bank notes to contain the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, the Chinese central bank announced on Saturday.

Notes will be disinfected with X-rays or high temperatures before being put aside in a safe for 7 to 14 days, explained Fan Yifei, the vice-governor of the Chinese central bank.

The quarantine period of bank notes will depend on the seriousness of the crisis in each region, Fan Yifei said.

After their quarantined period is over, the bank notes will be circulated again.

“We must protect the security and the health of cash users”, Fan Yifei said, adding that bank notes exchanges between Chiense provinces are suspended for now.

This decision follows a rise in Chinese people’s reluctance to use cash for fear of the virus.

Before China’s New Year annual holiday, the country’s central bank issued “emergency cash” worth 4 billion yuans (around 530 million euros) for the Hubei provincem where the coronavirus originates.

Read more via AFP/Euronews

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