In another sign the Chinese government is resorting to desperation methods in order to contain the rapidly spreading Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), reports noted Monday that the Communist regime has even resorted to destroying paper currency, leading some to believe that a mandate to adopt digital money Beijing can control is coming.
On orders from the Communist government, China’s central bank is cleaning and destroying cash that could potentially be carrying the virus.
The Epoch Times reported:
The new measures, announced by the People’s Bank of China on Feb.15, aim to contain the spread of the virus, officially known as COVID-19. There is still a lot unknown about the virus, but it appears to survive for at least several hours on surfaces, according to the World Health Organization.
That’s why health officials are mandating that buildings in affected areas of the country be regularly disinfected — that elevator buttons, door handles, door knobs, and other services that are commonly touched are cleaned often.
As such, every Chinese bank literally has to ‘launder’ their cash — disinfecting it with ultraviolet light and high temperatures before putting it in storage for one to two weeks before it can be handed out to customers, according to a central government press release.
But other cash that has come from high-risk infection areas like hospitals and wet markets is slated to be “specially treated” and shipped back to the central bank where they most likely aren’t going to be cleaned, but rather destroyed, according to the government’s state-run propaganda outlet Global Times.
For now anyway, in order to make up for the ‘cash’ shortage, the government plans to print new money and reissue it. But other monetary infection-control measures including suspending the physical transfer of cash between the hardest-hit Chinese provinces is now indefinitely suspended.
The Times noted further it’s not yet clear how ‘infected’ money in China really is, considering that the virus dies after being exposed to surfaces in a few hours. Also, most Chinese living in urban areas don’t use cash, they mostly use mobile payment apps.
Still, previous studies have found that money gets extremely dirty. Each bill grows more contaminated as it is passed from person to person, picking up various germs and filth traveling from one part of the country to another. (Related: Former Air Force general and China expert: Beijing dealing with ‘three black swan events’ that threaten survival of regime.)
The same is true of U.S. dollars, the Times reported. They include pet DNA, drug traces, bacteria, and viruses according to a New York-based study in 2017.
In any event, the fact that the Chinese are taking such a drastic measure — literally ‘disinfecting’ cash or destroying what cash is believed to be ‘beyond saving’ — proves again that the government is getting desperate to control the outbreak.
Since the outbreak began in December, the virus has spread to 28 countries, including the U.S. The pandemic has led to mass quarantines in China, as well as travel restrictions and other measures. Mainland China has taken the brunt of the illnesses.
But some are concerned the government might simply use the disease outbreak as an excuse to get rid of cash completely, as another way to control the population.
It’s certainly not outside of the realm of possibility with the Communist regime in Beijing.
Meanwhile, some 60 million people — that we know of — remain under lock-down or travel restriction. They are increasingly fearful of handling cash, for certain, but also of simply going outside of their homes, the Times reported. When they do venture out to buy necessary goods, residents often wrap themselves in plastic and other protective gear in order to keep from getting infected.
And speaking of money, China is estimated to have lost $62 billion in growth and revenue just due to the virus, though realistically, the figure is probably much higher.