It’s an excruciating trade-off. On the one hand, social-distancing measures can minimize contagion and death tolls, but a deep economic depression will sap the government revenues that pay for public health services and utilities. Countries with uncollected waste, failing water supplies and intermittent power could prove as dangerous as the virus. The problem is that, as soon as the lockdowns end, the infections and deaths will soar again.

“It’s a very difficult balancing act,” said Mujtaba Rahman, Europe director at EurasiaGroup, a political risk consultancy firm. “It’s not clear that any government has a credible exit strategy.”…

As soon as governments lift the measures, as China is doing now to save its economy, cases will explode again, said Christian Drosten, a German virologist who developed the coronavirus test and has advised the German government on containing the disease.

“As a doctor trained in infectious disease epidemiology, I can only say the same thing that all my colleagues say too,” he said in a podcast. “With the resurgence of public life, infections will resurge as well.”