A Statement by the ATM Industry Association for Immediate Global Release
Panic reactions are happening across the world as the new corona virus, for which there isn’t yet human immunity, spreads. We are seeing emptier supermarket shelves, an extremely volatile stock market, cancelled events and flights and many other signs of fear spreading even faster than the virus itself.
The medical consensus is that this virus is transmitted through respiratory droplets, primarily when infected persons sneeze, or cough, and the viral droplets then hook onto mucous or saliva of another person to gain a foothold in their cells so the virus can reproduce in that new host body.
The best advice is to regularly sanitise hands and disinfect surfaces, which may have been contaminated by viral droplets, while avoiding, as far as possible, touching one’s nose, eyes or mouth. We know that in close contact with an infected person, such as when shaking hands, or when we touch a doorknob, tabletop or surface previously touched by an infected person, we run a risk of catching the virus.
Since people don’t usually sneeze or cough into their banknotes, and since we all touch dozens of surfaces every day, it is disingenuous to single out cash as a medium of transmission of the virus. Handling cards, mobile devices and touching keypads in public places, not to mention countless other surfaces, can carry an equal risk. What is important is frequent hand sanitising to kill off any viral droplets given that the virus has a fragile envelope surrounding it which can be readily destroyed through disinfectants.