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Saving the Developing World from COVID-19

Summary:
The COVID-19 pandemic could devastate parts of the developing world. But with a concerted, cooperative, and holistic approach, the international community can avoid a large-scale humanitarian tragedy in vulnerable regions – and protect the rest of the world from destabilizing blowback. LAGUNA BEACH – Declining coronavirus infection rates and plans to begin easing lockdown measures in some parts of the developed world have provided a ray of hope after weeks of unrelenting gloom. But, for many developing countries, the crisis may barely have begun, and the human toll of a major COVID-19 outbreak would be orders of magnitude larger than in any advanced economy. With the United States having recently recorded more than

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The COVID-19 pandemic could devastate parts of the developing world. But with a concerted, cooperative, and holistic approach, the international community can avoid a large-scale humanitarian tragedy in vulnerable regions – and protect the rest of the world from destabilizing blowback.

LAGUNA BEACH – Declining coronavirus infection rates and plans to begin easing lockdown measures in some parts of the developed world have provided a ray of hope after weeks of unrelenting gloom. But, for many developing countries, the crisis may barely have begun, and the human toll of a major COVID-19 outbreak would be orders of magnitude larger than in any advanced economy. With the United States having recently recorded more than 2,000 deaths in a single day, this is no trivial number. If the international community doesn’t act now, the results could be catastrophic.

Sub-Saharan Africa is a case in point. Several countries there would face significant challenges in enforcing social-distancing rules and other measures to flatten the contagion curve. The region’s already-weak health-care systems could thus quickly become...

Mohamed A. El-Erian
Chief Economic Adviser, Allianz. Author of NYT bestsellers "When Markets Collide" and “The Only Game in Town.”

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