Coronavirus scam: The Reserve Bank isn't collecting your 'contaminated' banknotes

The South African Reserve Bank released a statement on Wednesday morning denying claims that it would recall banknotes and coins from the public amid the coronavirus outbreak in South Africa.

The coronavirus has caused considerable panic among South Africans, prompting some to panic by toiletries and supplies while rumours and false reports have made anxieties even worse.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced government interventions to manage the challenge on Sunday evening and advised South Africans to adopt social distancing and work from home as far as possible.

The statement said the Reserve Bank believed criminals were visiting South African homes and telling them to hand over banknotes in their possession, claiming the banknotes had been contaminated with the coronavirus.

"The SARB has neither withdrawn any banknotes or coins, nor issued any instruction to hand in banknotes or coins that may be contaminated with the Covid-19 virus. The SARB will not, under any circumstances, send employees or representatives to collect cash from the public," the statement said.

The statement stressed that there was no evidence that the Covid-19 virus could be transmitted through the use of banknotes and coin.

The statement said if members of the public are approached by individuals claiming to be SARB employees and asked to hand in their cash, they should refuse and contact the police.

The Reserve Bank encouraged members of the public to continue following basic hygiene practices, including washing hands regularly and social distancing.

Compiled by Khulekani Magubane   

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