The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic first struck the world's wealthiest countries, likely as a result of their global interconnectedness, involving trade and tourism. It spread from China in early 2020 to the west coast of the US and from China to Europe and then the east coast of the US. These wealthy countries shaped the global public health responses aimed at reducing person-to-person viral transmission via respiratory excretions, which involve
Use of face masks
Stay-at-home / work-at-home (where possible)
Isolation of infected individuals and quarantining their contacts
Economic lockdowns that involve non-essential business closures
These public health interventions have proven effective in wealthier countries in reducing viral transmission and preventing healthcare systems from being completely overwhelmed by a surge of COVID-19 cases.
However, such solutions would often be difficult to implement in developing countries.
In developing countries, people often live in crowded, multigenerational households. They may not have ready access to food refrigeration in the home, requiring daily food shopping. They often lack ready access to running water for hand washing, lack adequate sanitation, have poor or no internet connection for home schooling or work at home, and little or no savings to back up a loss of income.
Even basic supplies that are taken for granted in developed countries, like soap, are likely subject to shortages. In some wealthy large cities in developing countries, millions of poor people live in shanty towns, where local conditions make following preventive measures designed for developed countries challenging.
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