Maria Gouma

Greece has managed in a competent manner to keep the COVID 19 pandemic under full control. The country’s authorities not only have taken swiftly all the necessary measures to contain the spread of the virus, but they also have excelled in superb communication management since day one building the crucial trust necessary for its population to embrace the measures imposed. As summer approaches Greece is now facing the next phase of the pandemic under a brighter light.

May 15, 2020 “Greece is a rare coronavirus success story’, The Financial Times

Greece has so far been a rare coronavirus success story. With just over 2,744 confirmed cases and 152 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, the country’s casualty toll from Covid-19 is dwarfed by that of its southern European peers.

Greece took early, drastic action, going into full lockdown on March 16, 13 days after its first coronavirus case was confirmed. “The prime minister . . . acted very fast and took the right decisions much earlier than other countries,” said Elias Mossialos, a professor in health policy and adviser to the Greek government.

May 11, 2020 “How five nations in Europe and Asia contained coronavirus” The Economic Times

Slovenia, Jordan, Iceland, Greece and Vietnam all have one aspect in common. All are bound by one success story in times of despair. All five have successfully fought COVID by adopting effective and timely measures.

Greece surprised all. It has an older population and an economy that relies heavily on tourism. But Greece recorded only around 150 deaths. Greece achieved this by a stringent lockdown, promoting social distancing, and bolstering its health care sector.

– May 13, 2020 “Which countries are the unsung coronavirus stars?”, The Week

Greece deserves special praise here. It is one of the prime tourism destinations in the world and, even though it wasn’t peak vacation season when the pandemic struck, there were surely thousands of international travellers passing through in January and February. Its economy has also been strangled for a decade by austerity imposed by the Eurozone elite, and they’ve borne an enormous load of the refugee crisis coming from Syria and elsewhere in the region. Yet they successfully contained their epidemic far better than Germany — suffering less than 2 per cent as many deaths thus far.

May 5, 2020 “How Greece’s crisis is helping it bend the COVID-19 curve”, Deutsche Welle

As Europe remains in the grip of the coronavirus pandemic, one country is slowly winning its battle. In the story of unlikely successes, few could have guessed that Greece would emerge as an outlier. “The lockdown was imposed much earlier than in most countries in the western world,” George Pagoulatos, a political economist who heads the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy, said. ”

The government reacted in a very competent manner, listening to the right people and making the right judgement, especially given the lack of a strong precedent but also in terms of communicating the decision and keeping people in their homes.”

– April 27, 2020 “To manage the Covid-19 crisis, look to Greece”, The Guardian

Greece has spectacularly outperformed both Germany and the UK in its handling of the coronavirus outbreak. To date, Greece has recorded 2,517 coronavirus cases and 134 deaths (see from a population of slightly under 11 million.

This has been achieved by a strategy of a rapid and comprehensive response, and the government’s willingness to fully accept the recommendations of its scientific advisers. By early March all schools, as well as anywhere where people might gather in numbers, were closed and social distancing was strictly enforced. All this from a country ravaged by years of austerity.

– April 17, 2020 “Humbled Greeks Show the World How to Handle the Virus Outbreak” Bloomberg

Greek leaders credit preparedness and a disciplined population. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis asked officials for a virus response plan in January. He praised widespread compliance with lockdown measures in an address to the nation this week, saying the “slightest letup can lead to a painful regression.”

– April 23, 2020 “How Greece has emerged an unlikely success story of the coronavirus pandemic”, ITV

Despite an elderly population and a fragile economy, Greece has kept the coronavirus crisis under control with relatively few deaths.