The Pandemic’s Second Stage Is Here — and It’s Getting Ugly - GV Wire - Explore. Explain. Expose
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The Pandemic’s Second Stage Is Here — and It’s Getting Ugly



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In much of the developed world, the coronavirus curve is slowly flattening, but this obscures a tragic reality — the second phase of the crisis has begun as the novel virus spreads to the developing world. Ten of the top 12 countries with the largest number of new confirmed infections are now from the ranks of emerging economies, led by Brazil, Russia, India, Peru and Chile. The resulting devastation would likely reverse years, if not decades, of economic progress.

For a while, it appeared that the developing world was being spared the worst of the pandemic. As of April 30, with 84 percent of the world’s population, low-income and middle-income countries were home to just 14 percent of the world’s known covid-19 deaths, according to a Brookings Institution report. This can be explained in part by a lack of testing and a failure to attribute deaths to covid-19.

But there may be other factors. Nursing homes, which have accounted for a large share of deaths in wealthy countries, are uncommon in the developing world, so the elderly are not clustered together. Heat may have some effect in reducing the spread of the virus. Some medical experts privately speculate that the populations in these countries have stronger immune systems because they have been exposed to many more diseases over their lifetimes.

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