Answer Bank: Can COVID-19 be spread through coins and banknotes?

Considering that cash is the most preferred mode of transaction among many countries across the globe, fear of the virus spreading through coins and banknotes is on the rise amid the COVID-19 pandemic. World Health Organization (WHO) confirms there is currently no evidence to confirm or disprove that COVID-19 can be transmitted through coins or banknotes. 

However, respiratory droplets expelled from an infected person can contaminate and persist on surfaces. The following tips are helpful if you're handling money:

1. Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly after touching any frequently touched surface or object, including coins or banknotes. 

2. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose if your hands are not clean.  

As physical contact is the primary culprit behind the unmitigated spread of COVID-19, contactless payments instead of traditional cash, such as banknotes or coins, can help to minimize contact with people outside of the household in line with social distancing and orders of staying at home by reducing the number of people who handle card readers.  

Previously, WHO highlighted the widespread use of contactless payment systems in China as part of the hi-tech response to the virus. Dr. Bruce Aylward, team lead of WHO-China Joint Mission on COVID-19, explained how technology is helping with China to contain the spread of COVID-19.