Cash is not spreading COVID-19

Experts from the European Central Bank, in collaboration with the Department of Medical and Molecular Virology at Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany, tested how long coronaviruses, including COVID-19, could last on banknotes and coins, and the likelihood of being infected from handling cash. Notes, coins and credit-card-like PVC plates were contaminated with virus solutions of different concentrations and then touched by test subjects with their fingerprints, while still wet or already dried, to determine how long infectious virus was still detectable. Samples contaminated with COVID-19 were touched with artificial skin.

"We saw that immediately after the liquid had dried, there was practically no transmission of infectious virus," Dr. Daniel Todt, one of the lead researchers, said in a news release. "Under realistic conditions, infection with SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) from cash is very unlikely."

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The cashless society from an ethical point of view

The debate about the move towards a cashless society has been at the center of the scene for several years, now. Various angles have been taken by economists, politicians, banking institutions and sociologists. Beyond the technicalities of the debate, lies the question of freedom, of inter-citizen solidarity and of governmental responsibility. The debate cannot remain in the hands of financial specialists, it is first and foremost an ethical, political and societal issue.

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