Greece has surprised Europe and the rest of the world by keeping its coronavirus infections and spread to small numbers. Greek citizens were worried they would become the next Italy or Spain during the pandemic in terms of cases and deaths. Greece has already been battling problems of financial crisis, corruption, and political instability over the past decade; however, they have beaten the odds on coronavirus. As it turns out, Greece has one of the oldest populations in the European Union, second only behind Italy, which means Greece has been more vulnerable to COVID-19. Fortunately, the number of confirmed deaths and people in intensive care because of coronavirus in Greece has remained a small fraction of what the numbers are in other European nations.
Kevin Featherstone, director of the Hellenic Observatory at the London School of Economics, said, “Greece has defied the odds.” Having only tested a very small percentage of its population (only 69,833 people have been tested for the virus in the country), it is difficult for Greek officials to know how extensively the virus has diffused throughout its cities and towns. There have been 2,566 coronavirus infections reported and the total number of deaths has been low: only 138 people among a population of nearly 10.7 million — a surprise and a big relief to experts, especially due to the elderly population. Greece’s prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, announced on Tuesday a plan and time frame for gradually letting up on restrictions and getting the country back into motion, which now marks just over a month since the government imposed a lockdown.