Woman Microwaves NIS 10,000 in Cash Fearing COVID

The damaged shekel bills. (Bank of Israel)

A 74-year-old Yerushalayim woman accidentally incinerated NIS 10,000 to crisps in a bid to disinfect them from COVID-19.

The woman, who has not been named, said she collected the banknotes and, while wearing gloves, put them in a bowl with bleach and microwaved them. As a result, they were set afire.

The woman notified the Bank of Israel about the incident and apologized, saying she intended to replace the money but noted that her financial situation made this difficult.

“Fearing coronavirus, I touched banknotes with gloves and in my naivety I put them in a plastic bowl with bleach and heated them in the microwave to disinfect them. I left the kitchen and immediately came back smelling something burnt and the money burned.

“I feel great guilt because it is money that does not belong to me. I am a loyal citizen and I have desecrated money. I intend to put a check in the said amount, and replace the defective bills. It makes me frustrated and makes it even harder for me to get through these difficult days tucked away at home, not to mention the financial troubles. I have a monthly pension that is not high,” she wrote to the Bank of Israel.

The Bank of Israel, after investigating, decided to fully reimburse the sum.

It is theoretically possible to transfer COVID-19 through money. Cash is often circulated for years, and as a result, it is very easy for them to be covered in germs throughout the time.