Coronavirus Survives On Banknotes For Up To 4 Weeks, Study Finds, As Cash Usage Plunges

Monday 12 October 2020, 6:31 PM AEST - 1 week ago

We highlighted an intersting development on Saturday that appeared to go largely unnoticed by the general public, despite its potentiall profound implications for the global economy. The BoJ joined the Fed and the ECB in launching a pilot program to explore the use of a digital currency inspired by bitcoin and its many rivals.

Just one day later, Bloomberg revived concerns about paper money contributing to the spread of COVID-19 by publicizing the findings from a new study suggesting that SARS-CoV-2 can persist on banknotes and coins for weeks. The research appears to be credible: it was conducted by Australia's top biosecurity laboratory, which published a report highlighting the risks of paper currency, touch screens and handles like doorknobs.

As the CDC releases revised guidelines claiming that close contact with the infected trumps surfaces and aerosol - or 'airborne' - transmission as the primary means of infection, the study from the Australian Center for Disease Preparedness suggested that the virus is actually "extremely robust", allowing it to survive for up to 28 days on smooth surfaces like glass or the material used to print banknotes.

However, the rate of survival on surfaces declined dramatically when the temperature climbed to above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Farenheit).

Virus survival declined to less than a day at 40 degrees Celsius on some surfaces, according to the study, published Monday in Virology Journal. The findings add to evidence that the Covid-19-causing coronavirus survives for longer in cooler weather, making it potentially harder to control in winter than summer. The research also helps to more accurately predict and mitigate the pandemics spread, the researchers said.

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