Dozens of low- and middle-countries (LMICs) have now implemented stringent policies to slow the spread of COVID-19 in communities, including closing schools, workplaces, and enforcing physical distancing. These policies accompanied by population-level testing–where possible–can help flatten the epidemic curve. Flattening the curve reduces the pressure on health systems during the wait for effective treatments for COVID-19 to become available.
Yet flattening the curve comes at a cost–it also flattens the economy. Purchasing stops, jobs are lost, and investments cease. These costs will be felt differently depending on the income level of a country. Large falls in GDP, combined with large informal sectors, could spell disaster for many households in LMICs…..more