“What we did that I think was successful was to implement strict social distancing measures relatively early and this seems to have worked,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in an interview to CNN.
“We almost have full cooperation by the Greek people and I would like to thank them for the fact that [they] respected our directions and actually stayed home with a very very few exceptions,” he stressed, adding that “the hard work is still ahead of us.”
The prime minister underlined that “it is very very clear to me that if you take social distancing measures relatively early you can flatten the curve.”
“We had 50 people tragically losing their lives in Greece from Covid-19 but our healthcare system is coping relatively well and I have to point out that this is a health system battered after ten years of austerity. So we are painfully aware of the fact that we were at bigger risk compared to other EU countries of seeing our health care system being overwhelmed. But this has not happened up to now I hope that this is not going to happen.”
The coronavirus crisis has been an opportunity, however, for the government to embrace digital technologies, he said, noting that his administration has made strides in this area in response to the pandemic.
“What we also did relatively successful was to mobilise the private sector, the big foundations. We had lots of donations – large and small – by the private sector and managed to actually help us and purchase a lot of protective equipment from abroad,” he stated.
The prime minister also said: “Something that has come out of this crisis is a great sense of solidarity and we have also managed to restore trust. Trust in the state, trust in the government and, as you know, trust after ten years of economic crisis was in very short supply. So there is a general appreciation that we are doing our job professionally.”