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South Koreans Are Washing and Microwaving Money Over Coronavirus Fears

They tried disinfecting the money and ended up destroying them instead.

Mark Andrew

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  • A South Korean woman ended up destroying her banknites after trying to wash them using a washing machine.
  • According to the person, she received the money from friends and loved ones during a funeral.
  • She wanted to disinfect the cash, fearing she might contract coronavirus.
  • Meanwhile, another individual reportedly used microwave oven in an attempt to rid his money of coronavirus particles.
  • The Bank of Korea ended up replacing the destroyed money in both instances.

A woman from the city of Ansan in South Korea recently made headlines after admitting she placed banknotes in her washing machine. The reason behind the bizarre act? She said she wanted to disinfect the money of coronavirus traces.

Surnamed Eom, the woman, whose full identity has not been revealed for privacy reasons, apparently contacted the Bank of Korea to tell them about the matter. She also wanted to know if she can exchange the damaged cash to new bills.

Although officials have not disclosed the total value of the destroyed money, reports indicated that it was of a “considerable amount.”

Because of existing bank rules regarding damaged, mutilated and contaminated banknotes, the woman was given an amount of around 23 million won (US$19,320) by the Bank of Korea.

According to the woman, she received the cash from family and friends during a funeral. And so she went ahead and washed it to make sure it didn’t have particles of the dreaded virus.

Meanwhile, another individual with the surname of Kim reportedly burned his bills using a microwave oven several months ago. The bank later exchanged the money with new bills worth 5.2 million won (US$4,370).

According to a statement by the Bank of Korea, they have already lost 2.69 trillion won in the first six months of 2020 due to destroyed notes and coins.

Officials have since reminded the public to avoid washing or microwaving their banknotes since these are not approved practices for disinfection against coronavirus.

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