New Delhi, April 2 : As the corona pandemic turns multifaceted, concerns are arising over the use of currency notes and banks have been advised not to recycle inward currencies and do so only after 48 hours.
As a per a circular issued to banks in Kerala, all member banks of the SLBC that the inward currencies at branches should not be recycled. The inward currencies are to be separately wrapped in packets with date and to be recycled only after 48 hours.
“We infer that currency notes are a probable threat for spread of coronavirus. Health Department has also opined that coronavirus could sustain on infected currency notes for about 12 hours.”
Canara Bank has issued a circular today to the SLBC member banks in Kerala.
The staff in the branches have been asked to take precautions including wearing masks, gloves, using sanitisers and ensuring social distancing.
Earlier, Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) has made an appeal to people to wash their hands after touching or counting currency.
IBA had also asked customers to use online and mobile banking channels for making their transactions and avoid visiting bank branches.
“Wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds before and after physical banking/currency counting/AEPS (Aadhaar-enabled payments),” IBA had said in a public appeal.
Traders body, the Confederation of All India Traders had also flagged these concerns to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman about the possible spread of coronavirus through currency notes.
CAIT had said that usage of paper currency which is (the) most dreaded carrier for different viruses and infections due to rapid change of hands between unknown people and thus becomes a health hazard.
It cited the safety of polymer currency, mentioning 13 countries who have switched entirely to these notes, ditching paper variants, and more than 15 countries in line to do so.