Saturday, 25 June, 2022
HomeScienceDon't be scared of cash, risk of catching Covid from notes is...

Don’t be scared of cash, risk of catching Covid from notes is low, Bank of England study finds

Bank of England considered worst-case scenario of an infected person coughing or sneezing onto a note, and found virus level dropping quickly after an hour.

Text Size:

London: The risk of catching Covid-19 through using banknotes is low, according to research by the Bank of England that suggests the aversion to using cash during the pandemic is unnecessary.

The central bank considered a plausible worst-case scenario of an infected person coughing or sneezing onto a note and found that the level of virus on the surface began to drop rapidly after an hour. After six hours, it had declined to 5% or less.

The chances of such direct contamination occurring is relatively low as cash is typically stored securely in tills or wallets, the study found. An infected person touching notes would result in far lower levels of the virus.

Even so, the pandemic is likely to result in lasting shifts in consumer behavior. As well as growing adoption of online shopping as people stayed home, concerns about the spread of the virus has prompted U.K. stores and consumers to increasingly prefer contactless forms of payment.

The report found:

  • As of July, 42% of people had visited a shop that did not accept cash in the previous six months, compared to 15% in January
  • 71% of respondents were using less cash compared with before the pandemic
  • The volume of ATM withdrawals was around 60% lower at the height of U.K. restrictions in late March than a year earlier. It was still 40% lower in the second week of October
    At the same time, the value of cash in circulation has risen as people choose to hold more as a response to uncertainty

“A few hours after infection, even at high doses, the levels and therefore associated risk of infection appear low,” the report said. “Further, the survival of virus on banknotes is no greater — indeed appears potentially less — than on reference surfaces representative of the many surfaces that people may come into contact with in their routine life.”- Bloomberg


Also read: Results of Covid vaccines ‘promising’, India will play key role in their production — ICMR


 

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it

India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.

But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.

ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.

Support Our Journalism

Most Popular

×