Poverty and unemployment, a lack of access to basic services, the fragility of our public finances, lawlessness in parts of the state, and lack of capacity across government, long predated the Covid-19 pandemic. But they have all been on full display throughout the crisis.

There are important successes to note and useful lessons to learn from the crisis. Still, there can be little doubt that the manifold weaknesses and deficiencies of the state are among the reasons the epidemic has dealt so heavy a blow despite the boldness of the decisions made at its start...

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