Referring to numerous scientific reports that indicate currency notes are major carriers of contaminated diseases, traders body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has asked Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to assess the possibilities of diseases getting spread this way and take preventive steps. “It is regretted to note that the scientific journals have been publishing these alarming facts almost every year, but sadly no cognizance has been taken of this serious public health issue,” CAIT claimed.
The traders body has referred to the scientific reports that have suggested contagious diseases such as dysentery, TB, ulcer, urinary and respiratory tract infections, skin infections and recurrent meningitis, are being transmitted through currency notes.
The CAIT has sent copy of the communication to Union Health Minister JP Nadda and Union Minister for Science & Technology Harshvardhan for taking immediate cognisance of the gravity of the issue.
CAIT’s communication to finance minister referred various studies including one conducted by Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), one of the top ranking institutes under Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), which found traces of DNA footprints of at least 78 disease-causing micro-organisms on these notes, though not all of them on a single one.
Similarly, referring to a report published in the Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Sciences in 2016, the traders’ body said that 86.4 percent of the 120 currency notes tested at the department of microbiology, Tirunelveli Medical College, Tamil Nadu, were contaminated with disease causing pathogens such as Klebsiella Pneumoniae, E.Coli , Staphylococcus aureus. A majority of them were fungi, but there were also bacteria that can cause dysentery, tuberculosis and ulcers, it added.