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Managing COVID-19 in resource-limited settings: critical care considerations
Published: January 1, 2020
The 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has now involved numerous low-to-middle-income countries (LMICs). The healthcare systems in LMICs face serious constraints in capacity and accessibility during normal times. This would be aggravated during an outbreak, leading to worse clinical outcomes. Moreover, 69% of the global population aged 60 and above live in LMICs. These older persons are at increased risk of severe COVID-19 and mortality. LMICs lack time and finances for swift uptake of new technologies (e.g., rapid test kits, vaccines, and antivirals). From a more urgent and pragmatic perspective, we believe creative use of existing resources and repurposing others for human medical care are needed. We acknowledge that our suggestions may be perceived as controversial, and we wish to emphasize that maximization of conventional healthcare assets should always be done before turning to unconventional solutions.