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Avoid cash payments as coronavirus outbreak spreads, WHO says

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Posted at 6:34 PM, Mar 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 18:34:13-05

(WTXL) — The World Health Organization is recommending that people stop using cash in favor of "contactless" payments to prevent any spread of coronavirus.

The World Health Organization told The Telegraph people should use "contactless" ways to pay whenever possible.

WHO told the UK paper that the coronavirus (Covid-19) may stay on the surface of paper bills for multiple days, potentially increasing the chance of contracting the virus.

It's unknown exactly how long the coronavirus can survive outside of the body, but it's believed it can survive on hard surfaces for up to nine days.

The Telegraph also reported that the Bank of England acknowledged that cash “can carry bacteria or viruses.” Last month, China began deep cleaning and destroying potentially infected cash.

As a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.