Banks across the UAE have been ordered to replenish ATM machines with new banknotes to ensure the health and safety of residents and there is a steady supply of cash for workers, especially during paydays.
The regulator also directed financial institutions to undertake preventive measures, such as sanitising cash machines regularly and providing disposable latex gloves for all customers to use every time they withdraw money.
The UAE government has been introducing a series of measures to slow the spread of coronavirus, which has now infected more than 450,000 people worldwide.
Most of the country’s commercial establishments, including malls, cafes, restaurants and retail stores are now closed, as residents in the country have been advised to stay in their homes.
Virus on banknotes
Bank customers were earlier urged to use online banking facilities to avoid dealing with cash, which is believed to be a virus transmission source.
Governments in Asia, including China and South Korea, have recently taken steps to keep the virus away from banknotes.
As part of the preventive measures, China’s central bank used ultraviolet light or high temperatures to disinfect the country’s banknotes, which were then sealed for one to two weeks before circulating again to the wider public.
In its directive on Thursday, the central bank said the ATMs should be replenished with “new banknotes of all denominations.” “All ATMs must be sanitised on a regular basis, Preventing sanitization tools (disposable latex gloves) must be provided to all customers while using the ATMs at all times,” the central bank said.
(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; Editing by Mily Chakrabarty)
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