As COVID-19, Coronavirus spreads havoc across Europe and the US, the central bank of Egypt is taking precautions.
It has issued a statement limiting cash deposits and withdrawals across all banks in one of Africa’s economic powerhouses.
Egyptian Banks to Limit Withdrawal and Deposit amounts
The National reports that the central bank has already instructed banks to limit daily withdrawals to 10,000 Egyptian Pounds for individuals, and 50,000 Egyptian Pounds for companies.
ATM withdrawals is limited to 5,000 Egyptian Pounds. Citizens are also urged to pay electronically and limit their use on hard cash.
Although the World Health Organization (WHO) is denying claims that bank notes can spread the virus , COVID-19, research reveals, can last longer on disinfected surfaces including cash.
In an email, the WHO spokesperson Fadela Chaib said:
“WHO did NOT say banknotes would transmit COVID-19, nor have we issued any warnings or statements about this. We were asked if we thought banknotes could transmit COVID-19 and we said you should wash your hands after handling money, especially if handling or eating food.” Doing so is “good hygiene practice.”
Egypt Plan to Reduce Spread of Coronavirus
While Cash, the vehicle, can be disinfected to kill pathogens, the cheaper and a more viable alternative is to limit contact and instead use digital platforms for payments.
To incentive use, fees charged by banks and ePayment providers have been eliminated.
The attempt is to minimize and even eliminate the spread of the virus that has already set foot in Africa, spreading to over a dozen countries and claiming lives.
Coronavirus cases have been reported in the country, and tourism, the backbone of Egypt’s economy, destroyed as governments across the world urge their citizens to self-quarantine, and to avoid non-essential travels to countries impacted by the scourge.
The Case for Bitcoin
Cash remains king.
Despite WHO’s assertions, the psychological fear of being infected with COVID-19 has led to an uptick of the number of people going cashless.
Amid this, Bitcoin is emerging as a universal currency and a viable option for transactions. Unlike the USD or fiat, there are no losses in FX.
Besides, settlement is less than 30 minutes.
Coincidentally, as Coronavirus spread, halting economies, the number of new BTC addresses spiked.