How the 'Greek model' has helped keep coronavirus at bay

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Apr 14, 2020, 08:45 PM(IST)

Coronavirus across the world Photograph:( Reuters )

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Greece started screening people even before its first coronavirus case was recorded. People were screened and isolated

The coronavirus has wreaked havoc in Europe. Almost all European countries have death tolls going up to thousands. But there is one country that is shining - Greece.

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With just 2000 plus cases and 99 deaths, Greece is breaking the chain. Experts are calling the "Greek model" a textbook example of crisis management.

If the South Korean model is about tests. Greece is all about speed. The European country has successfully broken the chain of contagion in the continent. It's a country of 11 million. Greece had a little above 2,000 cases

The number of deaths stood at 99. Spain has over 1 lakh 72 thousand cases, wit over 18,000 deaths. Italy's numbers are equally grim. Nearly 1 lakh, 60,000 cases and over 20,000 deaths. France has 1,36,779 cases and 14,967 deaths. In Germany, 3.194 people have died with 130,072 cases reported. United Kindom has 88,621 cases and over 12,000 deaths.

All of these countries have fatalities running into thousands. Greece started screening people even before its first coronavirus case was recorded. People were screened and isolated.

Flights from China were monitored. Those returning from Spain and other European countries were isolated in hotels. Greece recorded its first death in late February. As early as March 10, Greece shut its school.

Within days, it shut all non-essential services. Greece went in for a lockdown way before its other European counterparts. 

Government processes were simplified to limit the need for people to step out. An expert points out that this move alone saved 250,000 citizens from making visits to doctors with medical prescriptions available on the phone.

Greece also managed to nearly double its number of ICUs. In February, Greece had just 560 intensive care unit beds but by March, the number was raised to 910. The country hired 4,000 additional doctors and nurses. 

The government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced that it would harness the crisis. It decided to enact long overdue digital reforms. The result was two-fold - citizen were protected and the country was modernized.

Greece managed to flatten the curve because of its quick response. The country managed to survive the coronavirus blow despite being embroiled in debt and despite its large elderly population.

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