Greece tackles the corona crisis best of all European countries, concluded the French think tank The Bridge last week. According to The Bridge, the Greeks have been able to slow down the spread of the coronavirus by taking quick and strict measures and thus flattening the curve. And that while the Greek health care and economy were far from prepared for such a crisis.
When the corona virus reached Europe in early February, many European countries were reluctant to take measures. Greece took immediate action. An advisory board of scientists was set up to advise the government on how to fight the virus.
Epidemiologist Gkikas Magiorkinis is one of the members. “The health care system here couldn’t even handle a moderate wave of contamination, not with the shortages in the hospitals and not with the number of intensive care beds we had.” In addition, Greece, like Italy, has many elderly people. “So we were proactive and said we should take action as soon as possible,” said Magiorkinis.
It started with banning gatherings, conferences and festivities like carnival. This was followed by the closure of the schools and universities, weeks before the educational institutions in other European countries closed.
Magiorkinis thinks that made the difference. “Children and young people often have no symptoms, so it is difficult to monitor the infection in that group. And the greater the number of asymptomatic carriers, the more difficult it is to fight an epidemic.”
However, the measures did not have the desired effect. Many Greeks continued to visit each other. That had to change. The government launched a massive TV campaign and issued warnings and calls to stay at home.
Including this video, in which various Greek artists ask the population to stay at home: