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About Atmia

Germs Are Everywhere

Thursday, March 12, 2020

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Company: Prosegur

In your daily life, you probably touch hundreds, if not thousands of items each and every day.  Think about how you start your day – picking up a toothbrush, flushing a toilet.  You get to the office and work on your computer, talk on the phone, and after work you pop into the shops to get a few groceries, carefully selecting the products you need off the shelf.  Along the way, you’re shaking hands, perhaps hugging or kissing a welcome to people you meet. 

In all this activity, there are germs sharing the space with us. Our body, through our immune system, is normally able to protect us from the potential invaders that surround us. The common cold and flu are among the viruses we face, especially in winter and early spring.  Good hygiene is always the order of the day because these particular viruses are easily spread through the coughing, sneezing or bad hygiene of the infected – yes, just as your mother told you, washing your hands with soap and water is an imperative, especially if you’re the one doing the sneezing.  Cover your mouth and nose so those droplets don’t spread further, and keep washing hands, or sanitising with an alcohol-based hand rub through the day.

Just as we did when we faced SARS and MERS (also coronaviruses), the recent outbreak of COVID-19 requires the same diligence.  The World Health Organisation states that whilst the exact dynamics of how the virus is transmitted is yet to be determined, in general, respiratory viruses (which includes COVID-19) are usually transmitted through droplets created when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

This is further backed by infectious disease expert Charles Chiu of the University of California San Francisco, who states, “The principal mode of transmission is still thought to be respiratory droplets, which may travel up to six feet from someone who is sneezing or coughing.  

Close contact with an infectious person, such as shaking hands, or touching a doorknob or tabletop touched by an infectious person, then touching your nose, eyes or mouth, could also transmit the virus,” said Chiu.

However, to state that money is a carrier of the virus is misleading and fear-mongering according to Mike Shipton, operations director of Prosegur, a leading global provider of cash in transit and cash processing services.

“The global health authorities have stated that the greatest risk continues to be respiratory droplets and, as with prior similar outbreaks, at no time has cash been found to be a source of the virus.  At a time like this, we need to be focussing on facts, and ensuring the information we’re sharing is accurate and doesn’t misinform the public and cause unnecessary panic.

“Many of us have seen the recent images of bank notes being sterilised in China, however the entire area was being sterilised. They have a major outbreak of a respiratory infection and are taking necessary preventative steps for further transmission – such as sterilising all items in the area, whether these are bank cards, money, desks, computers, doors etcetera.

“The only time cash has been seen as a source or cause of death, sadly, is through criminal activity, not a virus.  

“I think you’ll find most people, including health professionals, will be more concerned about someone sneezing in your direction, than handling some notes. And that’s not just during this COVID-19 outbreak, but each and every day we go about our daily lives,” said Shipton.

About Prosegur

Prosegur is a global benchmark in the private security sector. With our three core business lines, Prosegur Alarms, Prosegur Security and Prosegur Cash, we provide companies, home and businesses with trusted security based on the most advanced solutions available on the market.

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