China’s central bank said it will disinfect banknotes with ultraviolet light or high temperatures and store them for up to 14 days before they are put back into circulation.
The move by The People’s Bank of China was one of the extreme measures being taken by China to slow the spread of coronavirus, now known as COVID-19.
At the initial outbreak of the disruptive and deadly virus, Chinese authorities placed some 56 million people in Hubei and its capital Wuhan under quarantine, virtually sealing off the province from the rest of the country in an unprecedented effort to contain the virus
Local authorities around the country also introduced measures to stop the virus spreading.
Beijing’s municipal government has enacted a rule requiring all people coming to the capital to quarantine themselves for 14 days, warning that violators would be punished, according to official media.
With the government facing criticism over its handling of the crisis, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for tighter policing to protect social stability.
The government must “increase use of police force and strengthen the visible use of police” during the crisis, Xi said in a February 3 speech published by state media on Saturday.
A number of local officials have been sacked for their role in mishandling the outbreak — including the province’s top two health officials, and the political chiefs of Hubei and Wuhan who were replaced with Xi loyalists.
On Sunday, a host of new reprimands were made against officials in the virus-hit province, including the deputy governor of Qichun county who “cut corners and worked around the centralised quarantine order,” according to Hubei authorities.
Five other party officials from across Hubei were given warnings for offences such as not preventing mass gatherings in their areas.