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The Observer view on coronavirus, a tragedy for poorer nations

If Europe, the US and China are struggling to contain it, what chance for millions of people in less developed countries?

It is a terrible thing to see a disaster in the making and be unable to prevent it. Yet this is the prospect confronting us if we dare to look beyond the walls and parapets of a Britain besieged by the coronavirus invader. Tens of millions of people in poorer, less developed countries across the world face a looming catastrophe that appears as unstoppable as it is potentially lethal.

The moment has not quite arrived. But an axe is poised to fall on untold numbers of largely defenceless heads, a massacre almost too appalling to contemplate. As the relatively wealthy countries of the northern hemisphere engage in a noisy struggle to repulse Covid-19, alarm bells are ringing from south Asia to the Middle East and Africa. Mostly they have not yet been heard.

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