Currently, the coronavirus pandemic is gripping large parts of the world. It is neither foreseeable how fast and far COVID-19 will spread, nor how long the resultant economic and social crisis will last until a vaccine is developed. What is clear, however, is that it will severely strain and probably overburden the often poorly developed health care systems of many of the 137 developing and transition countries examined by the Bertelsmann Foundation's Transformation Index (BTI), and will have far-reaching economic and social consequences. Some experts are already predicting that many countries will be set back many years in their development and that hundreds of millions of people are at risk of falling back into extreme poverty. This is an unprecedented stress test for the stability of political institutions and the governance capacity of the states affected by the pandemic. The current handling of the crisis and its future repercussions suggest that the pandemic will exacerbate the very weaknesses that have marked the negative balance of the past decade identified by the BTI 2020.