China’s central bank disposes banknotes amid COVID-19 outbreak

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/2/15 15:19:29

Photo: VCG


The People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the central bank, is disposing of older banknotes that were in circulation in the market and replenishing them with newly printed ones in the wake of the deadly novel coronavirus epidemic that had claimed over 1,500 lives as of Friday.

Chinese central bank’s Guangzhou branch in South China’s Guangdong Province said on Saturday recycled banknotes from hospitals, wet markets, and buses will be destroyed immediately, according to media reports.

The precaution is believed to be on the ground that the novel coronavirus could spread through the surface of physical objects, as studies have shown.

At a press conference Saturday, Fan Yifei, vice governor of PBOC, said it is asking banks and institutions across China to disinfect banknotes. 

Notes and coins from areas hit by the epidemic will be disinfected by ultraviolet rays or high temperature and quarantined for 14 days before re-circulation.

The central bank also halted banknotes inter-dispatch across provinces as a precaution.

Brand-new RMB banknotes worth 600 billion yuan ($85.87 billion) were dispatched across China on Jan 17, the central bank said adding that 4 billion worth of banknotes were dispatched to Wuhan, the epicenter of the epidemic outbreak, leading to an increase the sense of safety among bank employees and customers.


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