Coronavirus: Ahmedabad to Go Digital to Prevent Physical Contact Through Currency

To contain the spread of COVID-19, Ahmedabad, the second-worst coronavirus affected city in India, has decided to go completely digital to prevent the spread of the pandemic through currency notes.

As part of the preparatory strategy post-lockdown period, all retail and home delivery agencies have been contacted and asked to get 100 per cent screening of their delivery staff, according to an order.

As an abundant caution to prevent the spread of coronavirus through currency notes, it has been made mandatory to accept digital payments through Unified Payment Interface (UPI) and other platforms, according to the order issued on Monday by Gujarat Additional Chief Secretary Rajiv Kumar Gupta.

From May 15, all home deliveries will have to be paid digitally and no cash on delivery will be accepted, the order stated. Gupta is also in-charge of coronavirus-related work in Ahmedabad.

The COVID-19 cases in Ahmedabad district of Gujarat jumped to 5,818 after 278 people tested positive for the infection on Sunday alone. About the worst-affected city, Mumbai, as many as 875 people were tested coronavirus positive on Sunday, taking the total number of such patients in the financial capital to 13,564.

As per the order, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation will form 100 teams, who will help 17,000 retail shops of vegetables, fruits, milk and groceries etc to get online payment app installed on their mobile phones.

Besides, they will also provide technical support and popularise payment through UPI system.
This would prevent infection transmission through currency notes as some medical reports suggested that the new coronavirus survives on paper for many days.

With regard to home delivery, the order said that a health card will be issued by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation valid for seven days to delivery persons and all such staff will have to compulsorily download Aarogya Setu app on their mobiles.

Besides, delivery persons will have to use hand gloves, sanitation cap, and sanitiser and follow social distancing norms, it said.

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