The doctor advises washing bank cards to stop the spread of coronavirus

An expert has warned that bank cards can be germs. The government has encouraged Britons to wash their hands for about 20 seconds and wipe their phones about once a week. Now GP Dr Chike Emeagi is adding bank cards to the list of things to clean.

He says touching a bank card with a store card reader can get germs left by other shoppers who have done the same. The card can then shelter those germs on its surface for a short period of time, risking the spread of infection.

Coronavirus can live on the surface anywhere from hours to days, says a study in the New England Journal of Medicine. When tested, various types of coronaviruses, not including Covid-19, remained viable in air for up to three hours, in copper for four hours, in cardboard for up to 24 hours, and in plastic and stainless steel for nearly 72 hours. However, experts said most home disinfectants can “disable” coronaviruses left in the stuff within a minute.

The virus has spread mainly through cough drops from person to person. Dr Emeagi, Medical Director of Hampstead Aesthetics Clinic and Dr Chike Clinic, told Femail that germs have the ability to hide in objects such as ‘clocks, rings, credit cards, coins and bank notes’. He continued: The point is that from an infection point of view, credit card is just like any other surface.

Every surface has the potential to harbor germs – bacteria and viruses. Dr Emeagi said he recommends using soap and water to clean various items and disinfectant wipes for constantly used credit or debit cards. He also suggested wearing gloves when cleaning items.

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