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China Shows a Glimmer of Hope; World Seeing its Darkest Days; Stock Market Continue to Bleed; An Act of Unity in Times of Crisis; Coronavirus Pandemic, New York Surges Past 2,900 Cases, Highest In United States; Italy Records Biggest Single-day Jump In Cases; U.K. Closes Schools, Shuts Some Underground Lines; Germany Faces Biggest Crisis Since World War II; Baghdad's Streets Empty After Curfew Imposed; The Mental Impact Of Isolation; Amid Outbreak, Touching Moments Of Solidarity. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired March 19, 2020 - 03:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[03:00:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to our viewers joining us from around the world. You're watching CNN Newsroom. And I'm Rosemary Church.

Just ahead, the United Kingdom is shutting most schools as Europe tries to contain the coronavirus pandemic. As cases soar in the United States, testing is scarce because of a critical supply shortage.

And during these uncertain times we want to highlight acts of kindness we're seeing around the world as communities come together.

Let's start with some good news for a change, right? China is marking another milestone in the fight against the novel coronavirus. The country's health commission reports only 34 new cases on Wednesday. All of them are people arriving from other countries. And Hubei, the epicenter of the pandemic reports no new cases for the first time since the outbreak started.

No unfortunately, Italy is going in the other direction. It has announced the biggest single day jump in new cases, more than 4,000 in just 24 hours. The entire country under lockdown.

In the United States, Donald Trump is turning to the military for help. He is invoking a 1950s law that could force factories to make badly needed medical supplies like masks and ventilators and he is deploying two navy hospital ship to hard hit areas.

And in the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is closing all schools until further notice starting Friday, dozens of London underground stations shutting down.

CNN's Matthew Chance joins us now from London. Let's talk about the response across Britain. Because we know in the initial stages that Boris Johnson was criticized for how he was dealing with this. He's changed his tune somewhat, hasn't he?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think a little bit, yes. So, well, actually quite dramatically. Because, I mean, there was a lot of criticism that perhaps the British government Boris Johnson, the prime minister, was not doing enough to stem the spread of this outbreak in Britain.

For instance, that he hadn't closed schools. And that might pose a risk. And that it was generally taking a more lax, sort of, attitude or the government was towards this outbreak than other countries in Europe. European countries were criticizing that method.

The British government say that they were simply following the best scientific advice that they could. But the truth is, the figures have changed so dramatically. The epidemic in Britain, the outbreak in Britain seems to be expanding much quicker than I think the government statistics anticipated. And it's led to a dramatic shift in what the British government is doing.

I mean, they're talking about the possibility of a lockdown here in London, the British capital which is, in many ways, the epicenter of the British outbreak. And already, within the past 24 hours, the government has changed course in terms of the closure of schools across Britain. Announcing that that will now take place for the first time on Friday. Take a listen to what Boris Johnson, the British prime minister had to say.

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BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: The objective is to slow the spread of the virus. And if I say we judge it this is the right moment to do. But of course, as I've always said we also need to keep the NHS going. And to treat the rising number of cases.

So, we need health workers who are also parents to continue to go to work, and we need other critical workers with children to keep doing their jobs too.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHANCE: Boris Johnson there, the British prime minister. I mean, look, he's been adopting a very, sort of, you know, calm approach to this, to this crisis. Approach that has been criticized.

[03:04:53]

But I think one of the things we've learned about this government's sort of reaction to this outbreak, is that he doesn't want to go down perhaps the authoritative -- authoritarian line that other countries in Europe, France, for instance, which has put police troops on the streets in order to impose curfews.

It's sort of seen as being, sort of, against the British tradition. That that very rarely has happened in British history.

But, Rosemary, the truth is this outbreak of COVID-19, this virus, is so dramatic and so unprecedented that, you know, these things are now being discussed at the highest levels in the British government. And things that were unthinkable perhaps 24 hours ago, are now being actively considered in the (Inaudible).

I'm talking about the possible lockdown of the British capital. We are hearing that tens of thousands of security forces have been placed on alert. Ten thousand more than previously in order to potentially sort of police key installations to make sure supermarkets can remain open during what could be a very difficult period in the British capital.

CHURCH: Yes, it's understandable the reluctance. But this coronavirus is extreme in itself and it requires measures to match that. Matthew Chance joining us live from London. Many thanks.

Ans Italy continues to be the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis in Europe. The country is struggling to control its outbreak as it nears 3,000 deaths with the nation on lockdown.

CNN's Delia Gallagher joins me now from Rome. And despite the lockdown, Delia, the story is still tragic coming out of Italy.

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Rosemary. I mean, it's something that experts say Italy should be prepared for that these numbers aren't going to go down immediately. They are looking at a timeline of the next 10 days hopefully to see that the numbers can start to drop and show an effectiveness in this lockdown.

We had a high jump yesterday, 4,200 new total cases, bringing Italy to about 35,000 cases, Rosemary. Now there is an important report that came out from the Italian ministry of health yesterday which gives us a picture of those patients that have died.

They say that the average median age of the people that have died is 80 years old. And that 30 percent of them are women. The average median age of those who've been infected is 63. And that of those patients that have died, many of them had two or three prior pathologies, like heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and so.

The other thing the report points to is that there is a timeline for the patients that have died of eight days, from the time that they show their first symptoms to the time that they died. Four days of first symptoms to the hospital, and then from the hospital to their deaths.

So, some statistics and early studies coming out of Italy that might be helpful to get a picture and a better understanding of these numbers.

On a lighter note, about international cooperation in this effort, in the north, we know that an American NGO called Samaritan's Purse has come over to donate a temporary hospital structure. That is something that is very much needed in the north of Italy. They are working to build that out right now.

And we know on Monday that the Pentagon confirmed that 500,000 swab tests were flown over from Italy to Memphis, Tennessee. So, we see a little bit of international cooperation in this effort as well, Rosemary.

CHURCH: All right. Delia Gallagher bringing us the very latest there from Rome in Italy. Many thanks.

And back in the United States, the coronavirus has reached the capital building in Washington. Two U.S. lawmakers have tested positive. The first members of Congress to have contracted the virus. Now other lawmakers who came in contact with them are self-quarantining to avoid spreading the virus to their colleagues and staff.

And there are at least 8,900 cases of the coronavirus cases in the United States. And it has killed at least 149 people. But U.S. officials are taking new steps to try and keep it from overwhelming the system.

CNN's Erica Hill has the details.

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DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I view it as in a sense, a wartime president. I mean, this war we're fighting.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): The president and I agree this is a war and we're in the same trench.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT: As New York announces at least 2,300 confirmed cases the most in the nation and a jump of 1,000 in just one day, Governor Cuomo taking new measures to combat the spread.

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CUOMO: I'm asking all businesses to work from home. But today we are announcing a mandatory statewide requirement that no business can have more than 50 percent of their workforce report to work outside of their home.

[03:09:58]

HILL: The executive order exempt essential services including first responders, health care workers, pharmacies, and food delivery. About 20 percent of the New York cases require hospitalization, making the need for hospital beds increasingly urgent. President Trump responding today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We are sending upon request. The two hospital ships are being prepared right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP) HILL: The navy ships will be sent to New York and the West Coast. Multiple states also putting out an urgent call for nurses as the virus is now confirmed in all 50 states.

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TRUMP: It's the invisible enemy.

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HILL: Meantime, life continues to change. The border with Canada closed to all non-essential travel. Across northern California, nearly eight million Americans now told to shelter in place. And in Kansas, children will be home for the remainder of the school year.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. LAURA KELLY (D) KANSAS: Unprecedented circumstances threaten the safety of our students and the professionals who work with them every day. And we must respond accordingly.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HILL: More confirmed cases across the sports world. The Ottawa senators the first in the NHL to announce a player has tested positive. The entire team has to isolate. And after four Brooklyn Nets players including star Kevin Durant tested positive, an NBA source telling CNN, it's quote, "crazy that more teams haven't tested players."

Meantime, pressure growing to cancel or postpone the summer Olympic Games in Tokyo. In Florida, defiant beachgoers causing alarm around the country while officials stress this is only the beginning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. GRETCHEN WHITMER (D-MI): As I hear people say certain age groups are immune. I know this. In Michigan we have a 5-year-old that has tested positive for coronavirus. This is a situation that impacts everyone in every age group. And I implore people to take this seriously.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HILL: One other important change here in New York City. The floor of the New York Stock Exchange will not open after two employees tested positive. It's important to note, though, trading will continue, electronic trading will continue, but that historic floor will in fact be close.

In New York, I'm Erica Hill, CNN.

CHURCH: And as the number of coronavirus cases grow around the world, tests and even supplies for tests are becoming harder to find.

CNN's Drew Griffin spoke with experts who say preparations should have started the moment China experience the outbreak.

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: In the cascading short falls of the national response to coronavirus testing labs across the country are sounding the next alarm. Telling CNN there are shortages, not just in tests, but the components needed to conduct the test. The head of a 51 hospital in the west says key parts are missing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROD HOCHMAN, CEO, PROVIDENCE ST. JOSEPH: In certain cases, it's re- agents, with some of the chemicals that are used, and even in certain cases it's just the availability of the appropriate swap in order to take the sample.

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GRIFFIN: It's the same story at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

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YOKO FURUYA, MEDICAL DIRECTOR OF INFECTION PREVENTION & CONTROL, NEWYORK-PRESBYTERIAN HOSPITAL: There do continue to be some challenges around expanding the testing significantly at this point.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRIFFIN: And at the University of Nebraska's testing lab.

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MARK RUPP, INFECTION CONTROL CHIEF, UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA MEDICAL CENTER: We're in a situation now where we actually don't have the re- agents to do the extraction from the samples so that we can run the test.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRIFFIN: Health officials in multiple states tell CNN they do not have enough tests for people who need them because of a shortage. In Minnesota, the state health agency is limiting testing to only the highest priority specimens due to a national shortage of COVID-19 laboratory testing materials.

The Ohio Department of Health told CNN they're only testing our most vulnerable patients due to a global shortage of supplies. In West Virginia, the state health officer says she had to scrape together supplies from flu tests.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CATHY SLEMP, WEST VRGINIA STATE HEALTH OFFICER: There's all kinds of chain of testing. There are swabs, there's extraction things, et cetera, et cetera. There are shortages on many pieces of it.

(END VIDEO CLIP) GRIFFIN: West Virginia still has a critically low number of tests.

Military veteran Kenneth Hawthorne says he's been to the emergency room three times in the past two weeks, sick with a cough, fever, but tested negative for flu. He says he cannot get tested for COVID-19.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KENNETH HAWTHORNE, MILITARY VETERAN: They keep telling me that my wife and I, we're at low risk, so we weren't priority to take the test.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRIFFIN: A major test maker Roche Diagnostics Corporation tells CNN, demand for its test is greater than our ability to supply it.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GRIFFIN: How did this happen?

HOCHMAN: Well, I think we needed to rethink how we are going to deal with an epidemic or pandemic in this case. The minute there was an outbreak in China several months ago, that should have started a whole sequence of events going. Now as everyone would say that's the history but what are we going to do now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GRIFFIN: Industries are responding ramping up production. And both LabCorp and Quest tells CNN they are greatly increasing the number of tests they can process per day.

[03:15:03]

But in the meantime, the CEO of the Association of Public Health Laboratories calls the situation a huge big problem. "I am really concerned that we are not going to have the capabilities to test those who really need and should get a test."

The Food and Drug Administration told CNN it's well aware of the shortages. And it's trying to provide information on alternative sources of re-agents, extraction kits, swabs, and more. But as one lab official told me, this is analogous to the run-on toilet paper. Labs now chasing dwindling supplies and hoping manufacturers can feel the void and soon.

Drew Griffin, CNN, Atlanta.

CHURCH: And CNN has full coverage of the pandemic. Be sure to join Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Anderson Cooper for a third CNN global town hall. Coronavirus facts and fears, live on Friday, 6 a.m. in Abu Dhabi and 10 a.m. in Hong Kong. And the program will replay a few hours later. That's 8 a.m. in London, 4 p.m. in Hong Kong.

Well, China reported no new local cases of coronavirus Wednesday. And the country has some valuable lessons others could learn from. And the U.K. moves to support the economy but some say loans and

grants won't be enough help.

Back in a moment.

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CHURCH: The airline industry is taking hit after hit as the coronavirus spreads. The latest, Qantas and its subsidiary JetStar have halted all international flight from late March to at least the end of May. Budget airline Ryanair will stop most, if not all flights, by March 24 except for a very few essential flights between Ireland and the United Kingdom.

And Air Canada announced it will soon suspend the majority of its international flights, and flights to the United States.

Well, Britain's finance minister is calling the pandemic an economic emergency, as well as a public health emergency. To that end, he announced a multibillion-dollar package of loans and grants to help businesses survive.

Milena Veselinovic reports.

MILENA VESELINOVIC, CNN PRODUCER: A message from the British chancellor to businesses.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RISHI SUNAK, BRITISH CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER: I promised to do whatever it takes to support our economy through this crisis.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VESELINOVIC: His 350-billion-pound economic boost was welcome news for British venues caught by surprise when Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked the public to avoid them.

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JULIAN BIRD, CEO, SOCIETY OF LONDON THEATRE: We were left in a very difficult position on Monday night. You know, the prime minister stood up and said to people from now don't go to pubs, clubs, theaters, and other venues without actually mandating the closure himself.

[03:20:01]

So, we were faced with a horrific decision. It was decided that we would recommend that theaters close.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VESELINOVIC: The promise of financial assistance for small firms has brought some relief to the theater industry, but most of the people who work they are freelancers, and Bird wants authorities to go further to support them. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIRD: We're going to need some more cash grants almost certainly. We have hundreds of thousands of freelancers and self-employed people in our industry, they need support and they need it very fast.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VESELINOVIC: There is no doubt that the financial stimulus announced by the U.K. chancellor is massive but it's mainly made up of loans. And what some small businesses say they need is cash, and they need it quickly.

Cafe owner Ilir Havolli worries that taking out more loans when he's got virtually no income will push him further into debt.

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ILIR HAVOLLI, CAFE OWNER: After the announcement Monday night the following day it was 90 percent drop immediately. And today (Inaudible).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VESELINOVIC: He says he needs a cash injection to pay his staff.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HAVOLLI: Probably we'll be OK for this month. But then if this continues at this rate, next month there will be no money. There's nothing. There is nothing. And it will be heartbreaking to, you know, let go of any of my guys. So, as a small business, my aim is to try and keep everybody on the payroll.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VESELINOVIC: Havolli and his staff still go to the mainly empty cafe every day because the government hasn't shut them down. But he says he would prefer a direct message if he should stay open or closed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HAVOLLI: We're taking each day as it comes and we really very much rely on what the government is going to announce next.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VESELINOVIC: Even with a chancellor's latest measures the body representing U.K. hospitality says one million jobs are now on the line.

Milena Veselinovic, CNN. London.

CHURCH: Well, U.S. lawmakers are racing to approve a $1 trillion stimulus plan to try to cushion the economy. The Senate majority leader says Republicans are getting close to an agreement. Meantime, President Trump signed a law Wednesday providing for free testing for the virus and paid emergency leave. Still the economic predictions are grim.

The U.S. treasury secretary has warned without congressional action unemployment could skyrocket as high as 20 percent. Though, he later said the government would not let that happen.

Deutsche Bank warns the U.S. gross domestic product could shrink by 13 percent in the second quarter. And Goldman Sachs predicts U.S. growth will plunge 5 percent in the next quarter.

Well, the New York U.S. Stock Exchange says it will temporarily close its trading floor after two people tested positive for the disease. The president says the move will not force the markets to shut down but starting Monday the exchange will only trade electronically.

In the coming hours U.S. Stocks are expected to drop once again. Right now, all futures are in the red. You can see there. Markets close sharply low Wednesday despite the stimulus proposal from Washington.

The Dow fell more than 6 percent and has now erased almost all of the gains it made under the Trump administration.

Well, stock markets in Asia have also struggled to shake off coronavirus concerns. Journalist Kaori Enjoji joins me now from Tokyo.

And of course, we saw the numbers a little earlier. Seoul KOSPI down considerably. Hong Kong's Hang Seng suffering too. I mean, those numbers are just horrendous, particularly for Seoul KOSPI.

KAORI ENJOJI, JOURNALIST: Absolutely. And this is despite central bankers around the world basically throwing money into the financial system, and governments are preparing to do more every day to try and shore up the economy as they work through this coronavirus.

But investors are not convinced and they are selling into a myriad, a different asset classes because they simply want to raise cash, particularly dollars in this time of turmoil and uncertainty, and that's playing out again in the Asian markets.

Korea was hit very bad today with circuit breakers being triggered in the equity markets and prompting the central bank there to say that they are going to tap into what they call a crisis fund.

The reserve bank of Australia went into unchartered territory which is quantitative easing and cut interest rates even further. Still that equity market in negative territory.

And the Bank of Japan made a highly unusual move, saying that they are going to buy a huge amount, $9 billion worth of Japanese government bonds to try and preventing yields from spiking further like they did earlier this week which made people very, very nervous.

Despite that, the Nikkei, the equity market here sank again by more than 1 percent. This is the second day in a row that we're seeing a year-to-date closing lows on that index.

[03:25:01]

So, despite all of these moves, we're seeing continued weakness in equity markets and the Dow futures resuming their downward trend in the afternoon Asian trading session.

I would also keep an eye out on some of the emerging markets and the emerging currencies, particularly in Southeast Asia. Because this really didn't start this financial crisis, but is quickly emerging into one, and these economies are particularly vulnerable if we see a recession. And that translates into stress in the banking system.

So, again, very nervous trading across the region here in Asia, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Yes, it is not looking good. People are so concerned. Kaori Enjoji bringing us the latest there from Tokyo. Many thanks.

And with all the grim headlines about the coronavirus, we are seeing another glimmer of hope from China. The country's health commission reports only 34 new cases on Wednesday, all of them are people arriving from other countries. And Hubei province, the epicenter of the pandemic reports no new cases the first time since the outbreak started.

More than 81,000 people in China have been infected. And more than 3,200 have died. Well, China is now lending a hand to France to help fight the coronavirus pandemic. The French foreign minister says a new shipment of medical supplies have just arrived.

And CNN senior international correspondent Jim Bittermann is live from outside Paris with more. So, Jim, let's talk about what exactly is in those supplies, those medical supplies coming from China. And of course, the latest numbers and the measures in place in France.

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Exactly, Rosemary. About a million masks came in yesterday. And that included not only mask but protective suits and medical gloves. Those were welcomed here because there are a lot of complaints about the lack of supply for medical treatment people, especially in the eastern part of France.

The Chinese have promised another shipment that will be coming in today. And the French army has released five million masks from its stockpile. So, I think they're trying to address as much as they can the shortages that they have.

Now, a couple of other fronts. The number of cases has skyrocketed again. And it's up to 9,134 cases at the last reporting, as well as 264 people who have died. Now 7 percent of those people are under the age of 65.

However, there's about 10 percent of those people who are in ICU's and other people in the ICUs in the intensive care wards, in fact, half of them are under the age of 65. So, what you got is a disproportionate number of young people who are getting sick, but not dying. And it's the older people who basically passing away from the coronavirus.

The other thing that the government is doing today is they are taking steps to help the homeless. They have requisition hotel rooms across the country, hoping to alleviate the problem for the homeless who basically have no place to go at night.

There's a 155,000 shelter beds but those aren't enough for all the homeless that are out there, there are thousands on the streets. The minister in charge of that is trying to get not only shelter but also food to all homeless folks in France. Rosemary?

CHURCH: All right. Our John Bittermann reporting there from just outside of Paris. Many thanks to you for bringing us up to date on the situation across France.

And the outbreak is also taking a big toll in Germany. The chancellor is now comparing this to World War II. Her message to the public. That's ahead.

[03:30:00]

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ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back everyone. Well, as Europe and the United States settle into their new reality in the age of coronavirus, the numbers become more shocking by the hour. New York's governor reports more than 2900 confirmed cases. More than any other U.S. State. The mayor of New York City says, residents should get ready for a shelter in place order.

Italy have announced its biggest single day jump in new cases, more than 4,000 in just 24 hours, closed to 36,000 people there are now infected. In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is closing all schools until further notice starting Friday. Nearly 40 London underground stations are also being shut down.

Well, Germany has also been hit hard by the outbreak, and the chancellor is urging citizens to take the threat more seriously. We turn to CNN, Fred Pleitgen, he joins us live now from Berlin with the very latest. Tell us what all he had to say.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Rosemary. You're absolutely right. Germany is one of the hardest hit countries in the world. I looked earlier this morning, it was almost 14,000 confirmed cases here in Germany. With that number also rising more and more every day. And you're absolutely right, Angela Merkel took the very rare step of an address to the German nation late last night and called on everybody to be part of the social distancing measures that have been put in place by this country, by the federal government and by the state government as well.

She says, she knows it's very hard on people, but she also said right now, it's all in the hands of the people about how quickly and how devastating this virus moves across Germany. I want to listen in to a little bit of what Angela Merkel had to say. Here's what she said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR (through translator): So, let me say this is serious. Take it seriously too. Since German reunification, no, since the Second World War, there hasn't been a challenge to our country that has relied so much on our joint action in solidarity.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PLEITGEN: Angela Merkel, also saying that right now depends on every single citizen to be part of the measures that had been put in place for the social distancing, of course, here in Germany, like in so many other countries, schools are pretty much all schools are closed. Universities are close.

When you go on the streets here Rosemary, you do still see a few people who are out there. And I think one of the reasons why Angela Merkel went out in front of the German people and spoke, is because she does feel that people needs to be more strict about adhering to these measures about trying not to be outside, not to have contacts with other folks. Of course, one of the other big things that the Germans are extremely concern about is also the faith of the German economy. One of the biggest economies in the world. And one of the ones that is most dependent on international trade.

And she did said that, yes, there is going to be a big impact. And that the German government would do whatever it takes to try to mitigate those circumstances. Of course, the Germans have also already announced a loan and credit line program worth well over $600 billion. And said, they could even upscale that even more. So, Angela Merkel trying to reassure the German population, but I think more than anything else Rosemary, also trying to get people to really be part of the social distancing measures to try and slow down the spread of the disease, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Yes. This is the time when people, when nations need good leadership. And they need to hear from these leaders what they need to do in these circumstances. Fred Pleitgen, bringing us the very latest there from Berlin, in Germany. Many thanks.

Well, there is an eerie quiet on the streets of Baghdad, the Iraqi government imposed a curfew in the capital on Tuesday to contain the coronavirus, it will be in effect until March 24th.

[03:35:03]

People aren't allowed to leave their houses. Security personnel, health workers, diplomats and authorized media, are exempt from that ban.

In Iran, more than 1100 people have died from the virus, but the president is assuring people the government is using all of its resources to fight the outbreak, Sam Kiley is in Abu Dhabi and has more details on all of this. So Sam, talk to us about those numbers, and how reassured Iranians feel by what their leaders are telling them. SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, there is a

degree inevitably of distrust between the street in Iran and the leadership. We've seen that, but prior to these various outbreaks in the demonstrations and protests earlier on this year against the government. And on top of that of course, Iran was hit hard and early on in the spread of this virus. The first they knew really that the virus had got a grip on the country. It was after two people have died by which time, the levels of infection are assumed by epidemiologist to have been much higher. Now, Iranian government are saying that the official figures about 17,000, 11000 deaths, about 100 dying every day from these infection. If you do the sums, it's so to 5 - 6 percent level of fatality for the virus, which would indicate that the numbers of those infected are under estimated.

But this shouldn't be seen, Rosemary as really a conspiracy by the government, as we've seen in countries that are not laboring under sanctions imposed by the United States, not cut off from the international financial system, and are able to export primary produce like oil. The response has been extremely difficult to -- government's to manage.

In Iran, they are laboring all of those problems and, President Rouhani is saying that he believes in the city of Qom, where the outbreak was worse than the beginning. He's told by medical officials there that they think they are getting it under control.

He's also trying to reassure the Iranian population that the supply of basic goods, the basic food and fuel to keep people alive, to keep the country running, are being made available and stock piled and trying basically to reach out to people who are being told to self-isolate in very large numbers of the base milage (ph) militia have been deployed. More than two weeks ago. I think now 300,000 extra people on the streets to try and beat this virus, Rosemary.

CHURCH: All right. Sam Kiley, joining us there live from Abu Dhabi, many thanks. Well, the pandemic is forcing millions around the world in quarantine and isolation, one woman shares what life is really like under lockdown. And we will talk to a psychologist about how isolation can impact your mental health. Back in just a moment.

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[03:40:00]

CHURCH: Well, Spain has the largest number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Europe after Italy, with more than 13,000 infections and nearly 600 deaths. The nation is on lockdown right now. For more, we go to Al Goodman, who joins us live from Madrid. Al, talk to us about the impact of that lockdown and those numbers as well. Of course, how people across Spain are coping with this.

AL GOODMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Rosemary. Well, those numbers are increasing. In recent days, they've got up on the order of about 2,000 new cases per day. The government announcing the figures about -- we're expecting new figures here around midday, Spanish time. So, I'm outside one of the major hospitals in the capital, the Gregoria Maranon Hospital. This hospital, like hospitals all across Spain, is trying to prepare for an increase in coronavirus patients. But they don't have enough beds.

So, there is a major hotel just down the street, a few minutes that has closed. Like a lot of other hotels in Spain, because they don't have any clients. There are no tourists right now on the Spanish mainland. Now, that hotel is going to reopen today as a hospital. An auxiliary hospital so that coronavirus patients from this hospital, when they enter and they are just in a mild stage, they'll be sent possibly down to the hotel hospital.

If they get worse and they need to be in an intensive care, they'll come back here to the real hospital, and after they recover of it, and they get over the worst of it, if they still need to be in hospital, but not yet -- not ready to go home yet. They will be sent back down to the hotel hospital.

Then we have hotels across the Madrid region, and they are expecting across the nation now, that's one of the ways they're thinking to augment the capacity of the hospitals here. Rosemary.

CHURCH: All right. Al Goodman bring you that live report from Madrid. Many thanks to you.

And for days, Italy has been under a nationwide lockdown as the cases of coronavirus continue to soar. An American mother of two living in Milan shares the harsh reality of what life is like under quarantine. CNN's Barbie Nadeau has our report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RACHEL BUCHHOLZ, AMERICAN LIVING UNDER LOCKDOWN IN ITALY: Hello from the quarantine zone.

BARBIE LATZA NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Rachel Buchholz lives with her husband and two children on the outskirts of Milan. They are at the center of this country's coronavirus outbreak. And she has been recording video diaries on Instagram. A window into one family's life under lockdown.

BUCHHOLZ: Day two of quarantine. Day 16 of not being allowed to meet in large groups. So, no church, no school.

We're all just doing what we can. A lot is going on skype. Thank goodness that we all have internet.

NADEAU: First few days she is upbeat. When kindergarten is canceled, they make for ports in the living room and enjoyed the fresh air. Soon, people only venture out to make trips to the supermarket or pharmacy.

BUCHHOLZ: There are reasons you are allowed to leave your house. But if you leave your house for other reasons, then you can be stopped and ticketed or put in prison.

People are talking one meter apart from each other. This is us, one meter apart. And this is the line for the grocery

store. Everybody standing far away from each other.

NADEAU: Like every parent in Italy, as the days drag on, Rachel tries to keep the kids entertained.

BUCHHOLZ: So this is the schedule we made for the kids. We won't be strictly adhere to. But Ben is already excited about it. I'm just running up and down our street. Our little tiny like private street with the kids. Just trying to get the exercise.

NADEAU: But one weekend reality sets in.

BUCHHOLZ: I think yesterday and today it's been tough emotionally. Because for a lot of reasons. I mean, just kind of realizing the reality of what we are living in for the next several weeks or months, we don't really know.

NADEAU: As news filters in, more cases and more deaths, they're struck by the tragedy unfolding around them.

BUCHHOLZ: They've run out of space in mortuaries, so they are keeping crematorium open 24/7 and they have to start stacking coffins in churches while they wait to cremate people because they don't have anywhere else to put them. People are -- because it's an infectious disease people are dying alone, their relatives can't come see them, because it is dangerous. So, they tried to use doctors and nurses phones to facetime their families to say goodbye to them.

NADEAU: With countries across Europe going into lockdown, and the U.S. taking stricter measures to slow the spread of the virus, Rachel's quarantine diary maybe a look at what's to come. Trying to keep family life normal while outside life is anything but. Barbie Nadeau, CNN, Rome.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[03:45:11]

CHURCH: Very sobering there. We just saw social restrictions are becoming tighter across the globe. But what effect do they have on our mental health? For some perspective, Honey Langcaster James, joins me now from London. She is a psychologist and psychotherapist. Good to have you with us.

HONEY LANGCASTER JAMES, PSYCHOLOGIST AND PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Good morning.

CHURCH: So, what's hard for most of us to wrap our minds around is that this is a shared experience with all of humanity, a global crisis that touches every single one of us. How do you help people come to grips with that? And the health and economic turmoil that comes with that as well. And as we just saw, that sense of isolation when you talk about people who died alone.

LANGCASTER JAMES: Of course, what we are hearing now coming from other aspects of the world is these stories that already touch all of us. The kids -- many of us, these are our deepest fears. And we all are facing that globally now as a collective. One would say is to take (inaudible) and take comforts. That I think, as much as the physical distance is obviously separating us, more than ever before, this is also an opportunity for us to come together collectively, on and emotional and mental level and support one another through what is undoubtedly going to be a difficult time.

But I do believe that good things can come out of that as well. And you heard even with that very, very difficult, sobering report, stories about how technology and the internet is enabling people to come together, to linked together, wherever possible. And that's what I think we have to do. We have to create a strategy as to how we can get online.

We can still connect with people emotionally and mentally, even if we can't do it physically. And we encourage people to look for opportunities to do that. To Skype or video call a friend, a family member every day to try to set up group conferencing. So that you can -- I mean, I had a meeting last night with some of my female friends, we had a little quiz over the internet. There are things that you can do. I've heard of choirs getting together and still seeing over the airwaves. It's really important that we do take those steps.

CHURCH: It is. And of course, that is fine for all of us who can get on the internet. The problem is that the elderly are particularly vulnerable at this time aren't they? Many feeling isolated, because they may not have access to the internet. And might not be able to get groceries with lockdown and quarantines in effect.

We heard a story in the United States were and elderly couple just handed a 100 dollar bill to a young woman and said, we are scared to go out into the grocery -- to buy groceries, can you get them for us? Incredible stories like that. What else should we all be doing to help out that very vulnerable portion of our population?

LANGCASTER JAMES: Yes, and it's definitely an issue. It touches me personally as well as professionally. Because my own father is 79, he's currently in isolation, he has got a partner with him. But he's not very technologically savvy either. And this is of course an issue. So, what I think we have to do is we have to think about our nearest community.

And I would encourage anybody in the local community who is still able to go out and about to perhaps drop simple notes around and say why not leave your telephone number, maybe on a sticker outside of your door and maybe local communities, local streets can collect the kind of telephone list and then just check in on each other.

Because most of the elderly is they are not connected online, they will be connected by telephone. And just having that lifeline out, in that way of saying let someone in the community is willing and able to go to the shops for. To get some groceries, to drop them at your door. We can still maintain physical distance, but I think we do need to take steps to make sure that no one is left behind and no one is missed out, even if they're not on the internet. CHURCH: Very important of course, how do people deal with the panic

that comes with a lost employment? The lack of money. All the uncertainty that comes with that, because it is quite frightening to think that some people who work in the hospitality, they are not going to have any money coming in. And they probably don't have a lot of savings, no cushioning.

LANGCASTER JAMES: Yes. I mean, I think what we have to recognize here is as much as this is a physical illness, there is undoubted to be going to be a mental health impact here around the world. And that is something that we are going to need to look at for a long time once this has passed. And it will pass. This time will come to an end. And things will go back to normal.

[03:50:02]

But we have to look at the mental health fallout, the financial impacts, the social isolation, the loneliness for some, the stress, all of these things are going to have an impact. And I think what we have to be aware of, is that will go through ways, we will go through peaks and that is normal. At the moment, lots of people are being feeling very, very anxious.

But I want to give people a message of hope that we begin to adjust. You will have peaks, you will also have days where your mood is (inaudible), but you will also have moot days when you're mood feels more buoyant, or when you past the chance to have a chat with somebody. Life will go on.

And I think it's important to hold that sense of hope. But at the same time, what we need to do is look out for each other. And if somebody is getting so low in mood or so anxious that it's affecting your ability to function on a daily basis, and that is when we do need to reach out for professional help.

And one of the things that lots of us are doing, you are (inaudible), also a (inaudible), is we are trying to open up our doors to make sure that our practice can still carry on from home.

CHURCH: Right.

LANGCASTER JAMES: And many of us are taking to Instagram, and Twitter, and Facebook. And I'm doing that. I'm doing Instagram live, Facebook live. So that even people who can't ordinarily reach out and get support, maybe for a financial points of view, you can still have access to some trained help and some advice.

CHURCH: That is so important.

LANGCASTER JAMES: Yes. It's going to be difficult. But we can get through this together. And I would like to think that when all of this is over, perhaps something positive will come out of it, and that globally we will realize that we have always been more close then you know, than we realized. That we actually share a common human experience.

And when difficult times come like this it is our ability to support one another, emotionally and mentally, but we will see soon.

CHURCH: Absolutely. Absolutely, wise words, Honey Langcaster James, many thanks to you for all your advice and you're wise words. I appreciate it.

We will take a short break here, people around the world are trying to keep themselves busy, and lift spirits while on lockdown or under quarantine. How far a little good can go? That's after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: Well, as isolation and social distancing become the norm for millions of people while the world works to stem the spread of the coronavirus, many are finding touching ways to come together despite having to be apart.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(PEOPLE SINGING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: A beautiful rendition of the ballad, Danny boy there, the violinist and her brother went to visit their parents in the community in the southern U.S. that's close to the public, because of the coronavirus.

Well, simple acts of kindness can make a difference while you've been told to keep a distance from each other to slow the virus. There are other ways to connect. CNN's Martin Savidge shows us more of the good that is happening around the globe.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: These may feel like dark days. With headlines of contagion fear and hoarding. That human sunshine still exists. Random acts of corona kindness are everywhere.

[03:55:00]

Like a front porch in Columbus Ohio, where a young brother and sister put out a concert for a 78-year-old neighbor who had shut herself off from the virus and the world. Dress in their best, the 6 and 9-yearold delighted their audience of one.

(APPLAUSE)

(CHEERS)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bravo.

SAVIDGE: In Italy, were so many had died and so many more are isolated they sing to each other from balconies. At night voices echo from thru the streets with canines accompanying them.

In Spain where they are also suffering, to say thank you to doctors and nurses and doctors battling to save lives. People step outside and applaud everywhere.

In Houston, at Irma's Southwest restaurant now ordered closed a couple of something behind, a $9,400 tip to pay your guys over the next few weeks. The Anonymous notes said.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is beyond. I mean, I don't even have words for it. I just really don't.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to let our staff know that we maybe off to work for 15 to 30 days, depending on how long that is, but the gift we got today should have soften the (inaudible).

SAVIDGE: At a Cleveland watering hole also closing, a customer added a little something extra to his less than $30 bill, $2500 for the staff.

When the NBA stop the games, Cleveland Cavaliers basketball star Kevin Love started thinking about the arena staff without work. He donated $100,000 from his foundation to them, hoping others would follow his lead in their towns. They did. Teachers might not be rich like athletes, but they have a wealth of knowledge, and on Facebook many are sharing it to answer questions, and help others learn.

Elsewhere, the elderly or on the minds of many, people offered a grocery shop for those who cannot or may not want to leave their homes. Stores had begun allowing older customers their own exclusive shopping hours to limit exposure to crowds.

And when coronavirus concerns prevented her from going into a North Carolina nursing home to show her grandfather something, the young woman stood at his window simply pointing to the engagement ring. The virus forcing us apart, seems also to be bringing us together. Closer than we've been in a long while. Martin Savidge, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: Encouraging acts of kindness. We like to see that. Thank you so much for your company. I'm Rosemary Church. Early Start is up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

END