How Greece has emerged an unlikely success story of the coronavirus pandemic

Despite an elderly population and a fragile economy, Greece has kept the coronavirus crisis under control with relatively few deaths.

The latest World Health Organization figures put the number of confirmed cases in the country at 2,408 with a death toll of 121.

Covid-19 hit the country almost simultaneously with the UK outbreak, but scientists in Greece say the "epidemic has been shrinking" since the end of March.

Migrants wave from the their balconies at a hotel in Kranidi town about 170km southwest of Athens. Credit: AP

Lockdown restrictions in the capital Athens have been in place for six weeks, enforced by police officers with roadblocks and document checks.

It's been suggested Greece faced no alternative to strict lockdown.

The country's healthcare system has been left unable to cope with a pandemic after a decade of economic crisis.

Greek Minister of Tourism, Haris Theoharis, said decision making was based on "physical livelihood" rather than "economical considerations".

The minister added that Greece had been able to learn lessons from countries around the world that had not made decisions on lockdown early on in the outbreak.

People wearing masks to protect against the spread of the coronavirus walk in Plaka district outside closed shops, in Athens during a lockdown order by the Greek government. Credit: AP

Since 10 March, schoolchildren in Greece have moved to a virtual learning model - two weeks before UK schools took the same measure.

The early actions of Greek authorities have prompted scientists there to declare the outbreak has been "shrinking" since March 23.

Dr Gkikas Magiorkinis - from the country's Covid-19 Task Force - said the epidemic now seems to be "dying out".

He added if numbers in the country continue to decrease, Greece could see an end to the outbreak as early as May.

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know