Are the Bills in Your Wallet Clean — or Contaminated?

The World Health Organization warned on March 3, 2020 that COVID-19 might be transmissible via banknote handling. According to the WHO, coronavirus particles might be able to live on cash for a few days.

China’s central bank recently announced that it would sanitize its yuan notes, exposing them to high temperatures and ultraviolet light, and destroy notes circulated in areas hard hit by the coronavirus.

It’s all an effort to halt potential secondary spreading of the illness.

Yuan notes will be collected from Wuhan and all high-risk areas seriously affected by coronavirus infection, including buses, hospitals, financial areas, and wet markets, and destroyed.

Chinese banks in areas less affected by the coronavirus will disinfect yuan notes and then store them for two weeks before recirculating them again.

The deputy governor of China’s central bank, Fan Yifei, said that about 600 billion new yuan banknotes worth $85.6 billion had been circulated into the country’s economy by January 17, 2020.

About 4 billion yuan, or $570 million, the amount circulating in Wuhan since the outbreak began, will probably be destroyed. Another 4 billion in brand new yuan banknotes was circulated in Wuhan in late January 2020.

The WHO encourages frequent hand-washing, social distancing, and using hand sanitizer to guard against infection.

Global impact

The coronavirus is having significant impact on the global economy in ways that are still being analyzed.

The country suffering the worst is China, where the novel coronavirus first manifested in Wuhan, China in late 2019.

Since December 2019, when there were only a few recorded cases of the coronavirus, over 82,000 have since been infected. Over 2,800 people have died.

Until recently, the majority of coronavirus cases and deaths have occurred in China. The country essentially quarantined itself from the world earlier this year.

However, almost every country in the world now has experienced outbreaks.

The economic impact of the global coronavirus outbreak might be incalculable.

Global stock markets have lost a staggering $9 trillion in value from February 26 through early March due to investor fears over the coronavirus and its continuing effects on global commerce.

For comparative context, consider that almost $13 trillion was lost during the 2008 global financial crisis.

Dun & Bradstreet, a global commerce analytics firm, recently revealed a study that said over 5 million businesses on a global scale could be negatively impacted by the coronavirus.