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The COVID-19 Weakest Links

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SINGAPORE – No health system in the world has the surge capacity to cope with an influx of tens of thousands of patients in a matter of weeks, as is the case with the COVID-19 pandemic. Add in the fact that about one in seven people diagnosed with the virus will require hospitalization, and that about one in 20 will need mechanical ventilation, and you have a recipe for systemic overload and breakdowns.

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  • This Time Truly Is Different Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

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    Carmen M. Reinhart notes that even the 1918-19 influenza pandemic offers no guidance about the likely economic impact of COVID-19.

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    If developed countries with efficient health systems are struggling to mount an effective response to COVID-19, then what hope do far weaker systems have? After all, poorer countries generally lack the technology, training, and resources to find those infected with the virus, isolate them in suitable facilities to........

    © Project Syndicate