Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias, in an interview with Skai TV on Monday, spoke about the successful management of the coronavirus crisis.
"No one could have imagined that we would face a pandemic, the biggest public health crisis. The important thing is that we were able to organise the National Health System, which had many problems coming out of the [economic] crisis.
"I am glad that we were able to bring back top scientists, teachers, doctors, nurses, paramedical staff," said Kikilias. "Other health ministers, I imagine, also suggested horizontal measures - a lockdown - to their prime ministers early on. The prime ministers, for fear of the economic cost, did not take these measures. Kyriakos Mitsotakis took the plunge very early, earlier than any other European leader, and took these measures. It was a huge burden, which he assumed. And he was justified, as was the whole of Greek society, which was disciplined, and we avoided what is happening in advanced economies with very rich health systems, in North America, in South America, in other countries, in the Balkans," he added.
The minister called on the citizens to diligently follow the rules of hygiene, such as regularly washing their hands, always wearing a mask indoors, avoiding overcrowing and taking care of their grandparents and parents, if they are in a vulnerable group. To do all that we did all this time and made us stand out as a country and, finally, after many years, the entire global community recognises Greece's good performance.
According to the health minister, the government knew that it could not keep people locked up in their homes forever: "We made all this effort and all these sacrifices to be able to support our society, the professionals, the people of tourism, to restart the economy. We expected that with the opening of tourism, with the opening of our borders we would have some increase in cases. It is obvious that in relation to other countries around us we are lower [in rates of Covid-19] because we have an organised system of testing, tracking, isolation."