Smart containment: How low-income countries can tailor their COVID-19 response

Low-income countries will have a much harder time putting their economies in a “medically induced coma” in response to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). They are home to many of the extreme poor, who, for the most part, have no option but to live in overcrowded conditions with limited access to clean water and sanitation. They work in the informal sector, often for a daily wage, depend heavily on public service provision, and have limited savings and no access to credit. For many, staying at home is not a viable option, and not working comes at the expense of food and other necessities.

This brief addresses how low-income countries can tailor their COVID-19 response.