China's Central Bank to disinfect and eliminate cash to fight coronavirus

# 18 February 2020 15:00 (UTC +04:00)

According to official data, 600 billion yuan ($85.6 billion) in new banknotes have been distributed throughout the country over the last month, and four billion of them were sent to Wuhan before the Lunar New Year (25 January), APA reports citing Sputnik.

Authorities in Guangzhou will destroy all banknotes collected by hospitals, wet markets, and buses in order to fight the spread of the coronavirus.

The local branch of the People's Bank of China (PBOC) stated that all banknotes retrieved from sections with high exposure to the disease have to be eliminated.

At the same time, bills from other parts of the country, affected by the virus, would be quarantined.

"Money from key virus-hit areas will be sanitised with ultraviolet rays or heated and locked up for at least 14 days before it is distributed again", PBOC Deputy Governor Fan Yifei told reporters. He also noted that the central bank will add more cash to banks to help businesses survive.

Commercial banks will also be obligated to collect and disinfect banknotes from the said regions, and then send them to the PBOC.

​The novel coronavirus, later named COVID-19, was originally registered in the city of Wuhan in December. At the moment, the death toll from the infection in China has climbed to 1,868, with over 72,400 confirmed cases.