Thrissur: Banks are staring at risk, though the whole country is in a defensive gear against the Covid-19 virus. Banks cannot close the branches or restrict the customers. ATMs are also spared from restrictions.
The Reserve Bank of India has given no instructions to customers other than a passing suggestion to switch to digital transactions. Hence the bank branches and ATMs are staring at Covid 19 risk without any precaution.
Most ATMs do not have security personnel to remind customers of any precautionary measures. A few banks have abided by the instruction to place sanitisers at ATM counters. All ATMs have now touch screens, and they will not work with gloved hands. Operating touch screen demand bare hands.
There are no ways to ascertain if the currencies delivered at the counters were passed through disease-affected hands. An ATM channel manager allayed such fears for now and told Madhyamam that the machines are at present loaded with currencies, from the reserve, that was collected before Covid outbreak.
However, a trade union leader of bank employees told that it takes no time to pass the currencies from Covid-affected regions to ATMs elsewhere. ATMs are one of the hotspots where NRIs are sure to ener when they arrive from abroad. The customers cannot be either restricted or limited in their entry.
A private bank employee said that most of the employees, especially those who are at counters, are wearing masks and gloves. But employees cannot compel the customers to wash hands. Customers are also anxious about visiting banks and their ATMs, he said.