Hong Kong CNN Business  — 

As the novel coronavirus outbreak continues to batter China, the country’s central bank has implemented a new strategy to contain the virus – deep cleaning and destroying potentially infected cash.

The new measures, announced by the People’s Bank of China on Saturday, aim to contain the spread of the virus, officially known as Covid-19. There is still a lot unknown about the virus, which has infected more than 71,000 people globally and killed 1,775, the majority in China – but it appears to survive for at least several hours on surfaces, according to the World Health Organization.

This is why buildings in affected areas are regularly disinfecting elevator buttons, door handles, and other commonly-touched surfaces – and why people are worried about cash, which changes hands multiple times a day.

All Chinese banks must now literally launder their cash, disinfecting it with ultraviolet light and high temperatures, then storing it for seven to 14 days before releasing it to customers, said the central Chinese government in a press release Saturday.