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Can currency notes act as coronavirus carriers? Traders’ body seeks clarity

mangaloretoday / IT

New Delhi, June 05, 2020: Confederation of All Indian Traders (CAIT) in a communication to Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan sought clarity over reports that the novel coronavirus can spread through currency notes. The traders’ body has urged the Union Minister to issue an authentic clarification about whether currency notes can act as carriers of the infection.


"If yes, then what are the preventive and safety measures, the Government could suggest, not only for the traders but even for the people of the country so that any prospect of spreading Covid-19 through currency notes must be contained," the communication said.

CAIT National President BC Bhartia and Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said that various reports in domestic and international media about currency notes acting as carriers for different infections and viruses prompted the body to write to the Government of India. In its communication, CAIT has cited three reports in connection with the claim that currency notes can act as possible carriers of infection.

The first is a 2015 study conducted by King George’s Medical University, Lucknow that showed how an entire sample of 96 banknotes and 48 coins were contaminated with virus, fungus and bacteria. Another was a 2016 study conducted in Tamil Nadu stating that 86.4 per cent of 120 bank notes collected from doctors, banks, markets, butchers, students and housewives had various disease causing pathogens. The third report was that of a 2016 study from Karnataka that asserted how 58 of 100 notes of Rs 100, Rs 50, Rs 20 and Rs 10 were contaminated.

Seeking clarity from Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan in this regard, CAIT has stated in its communication that the business community deals almost completely in cash. "In the context of COVID, this aspect assumes greater significance as currency changes hands rapidly between an unquantified series of unknown persons," the traders’ body pointed out.

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