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Youth Must Learn a New Lesson; U.K. Tightening Rules on Lockdown; Non-Residents Are Ban in Hong Kong for 14 Days; Wuhan Showing Signs of Normal Life Activities; Disagreements Amidst Crisis; Germany's Chancellor in Self-Quarantine; Tokyo 2020 Could Possibly be Postponed; President Trump Stays Positive. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired March 23, 2020 - 03:00   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States, and of course, all around the world. You are watching CNN Newsroom. And I'm Rosemary Church.

Just ahead, the pandemic and the economy. Democrats and Republicans argue over a stimulus plan amid layoffs and recession fears.

In Italy, the situation growing more dire by the hour with nearly 60,000 cases of the virus. The country's defense minister now requesting help from the U.S. military.

The summer Olympics up in the air. The Japanese prime minister says postponing the games might be inevitable.

And we begin with a frightening new normal. Empty streets, empty parks, shuttered stores. Here in the United States and in many other countries all around the world. There are at least 339,000 coronavirus cases, and 14,000 deaths globally. That is according to John Hopkins University.

Europe has seen a dramatic rise in cases and deaths particularly in hard hit Italy. Its reporting more than 59,000 total confirmed cases with over 5,400 deaths. The Italian government is asking the U.S. military for help, that's according to a U.S. defense official. They are requesting critical medical equipment and military medical personnel, and field hospitals.

Meantime, in the U.S., the number of confirmed cases has topped 34,000 with at least 413 deaths. President Donald Trump announced he is sending out the National Guard to the three hardest hit states, New York, California, and Washington.

Meanwhile, a massive economic stimulus plan is stuck in the U.S. Senate. The relief package to deal with the economic devastation of the coronavirus outbreak is estimated to be close to $2 trillion. It would include direct payments to Americans under a certain income level, relief for small businesses, and loan to struggling industries. A key procedural vote is now set for Monday afternoon. It failed to

pass Sunday after Democrats took issue with certain aspects of it. And here's how the Senate leaders of both parties described their positions.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), SENATE MINORITY LEADER: The legislation has many problems. At the top of the list, it includes a large corporate bailout with no protections for workers, and virtually no oversight. Also, very troubling in the bill, where significant shortfalls of money that are hospitals, state, cities, and medical workers desperately needed.

This is a public health crisis. It is inexplicable to skimp on funding to address the pandemic. We Democrats want to move forward with a bipartisan agreement. Unfortunately, the legislation has not improved enough in the past three hours to earn the necessary votes to proceed.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER: So, we are fiddling here. Fiddling with the emotions of the American people. Fiddling with our markets. Fiddling with the health care. The American expect us to act tomorrow. And I want everybody to fully understand if we aren't able to act tomorrow, it will be because of our colleagues on the other side, continuing to dicker when the country expects us to come together and address this problem.


CHURCH: So, let's go next to the White House where President Trump gave a briefing on Sunday.

CNN's Kristen Holmes has the details.

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Trump in an hour and a half long press briefing on Sunday night has struck two very different tones. At one point, he gave very specific numbers of supplies that were going out to California and Washington in New York.

He said that he was comforting the American people that he wanted anyone who felt that they were in isolation or alone to know that they weren't alone. That the United States was in fact a unified nation, they had come together to fight coronaviruses as one, there is no politics involved.

But as soon as the questioning started, he veered off course. We saw several points in which he seemed to have a sarcastic remark back to the fact that Senator Mitt Romney who had been exposed to Senator Rand Paul was self-quarantining.

We know Romney, of course in his 70s, he has a wife with an underlying condition, he also at one, point wen on about how he was a rich man, how many billions of dollars that he had lost running for president, at again at a time when the economy is suffering when and the American people are suffering.


But the big question that we had for him tonight after spending the day on Sunday listening to governor begged President Trump to utilize the Defense Production Act to try and help them get the supplies they need, he essentially said that he would not be doing so anytime soon. Take a listen.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We're a country not based on nationalizing our business. Call a person over in Venezuela, ask them how nationalization of their businesses worked out -- not to well.

The concept of nationalizing our businesses is not a good concept. We have the threat of doing it if we need it. We may have to use it somewhere along the supply chain in a minor way, but we have millions of masks being done. We have respirators, we have ventilators, we have a lot of things happening right now. So just the threat of using it.

But using it's actually a big deal. I mean, when this was announced, it sent tremors through our business community and through our country. Because basically, what are you doing, you are talking about you are going to nationalize an industry. Or you are going to nationalize, you are going to take away companies. You are going to tell companies what to do.

The truth is, most people, nobody would know where to start. There are companies out there that you wouldn't think of that have called us that say we can do ventilators. We used to do them years ago. And they can do them in large quantities. Other companies -- if I call companies and say you build ventilators, they don't even know what a ventilator is.


HOLMEs: And it's important to remember here that the situation that we're seeing is 50 states competing with one another, and the federal government for supplies. And sometimes even competing against hospitals in their own states, everyone is trying to get the same personal protective gear for those health care workers on the front lines. And right now, it doesn't seem as though he has any intention to nationalize and streamline that process.

Kristen Holmes, CNN, the White House.

CHURCH: Of course, it could be another rough trading day on Wall Street after the U.S. Senate stimulus package failed to move forward. The Dow futures immediately reacted and fell sharply by more than 900 points. It hit a 5 percent decline, triggering a temporary halt on trading.

Take a look at where the U.S. stock futures stand right now. That's not giving good signals for the new trading day at all. the Dow future down nearly 4 percent. Just extraordinary numbers. And the U.S. president is sharing his outlook on the impact of

coronavirus. Earlier, he struck an optimistic tone about how quickly the U.S. will recover. Take a listen.


TRUMP: The greatest thing we can do is win the war. The war is against the virus. That's the war. We do that, everything, I really believe everything is going to fall into place. It's going to be beautiful. I call it a pent-up demand. People are dying to go out to a restaurant. People are dying to go on to airplanes.

I think there is a tremendous pent up demand. You may be surprised to the degree. I think it's going to go very rapidly. Because this is not a financial crisis, just the opposite. This was a medical crisis.


CHURCH: Journalist Kaori Enjoji joins us now live from Tokyo. Good to see you, Kaori. So, President Trump very optimistic, it's going to be beautiful he thinks. Investors apparently don't share his enthusiasm. What do they want to see in his stalled stimulus plan?

KAORI ENJOJI, JOURNALIST: Well, Rosemary, first, I think people were very nervous this morning across the Asian region with the exception of Tokyo that the U.S. is failing to come together to put together this economic stimulus package. And the delay is what's unnerving investors.

But I think beyond that, the fact that we are seeing more countries and cities go into lockdown or announce emergency measures, New Zealand, Delhi, Indonesia across the region here in Asia, is what continues to unnerve investors. So, you are seeing very, very steep losses in some of those markets, particularly Australia, New Zealand, Shanghai, and Korea today.

And I think it highlights the fact that despite a policymakers, central bankers, and finance ministers in particular, their measures to try and prop up the economy like New Zealand announced today is just overwhelmed by the news that we're getting on the economic front from the fallout from coronavirus.

And as a result, investors continue to sell. You mentioned that S&P futures went limit down, to fairly bleak picture for Dow futures right now in Asia as well, despite the big sell off last week, the biggest weekly drop since the 2008 financial crisis, we are seeing continued sell-off in futures as well.

Commodity prices are also under pressure, this is because with businesses closed, demand for this key commodities like oil, coal, continued -- expected to continue to remain weak.


And when you have that situation, you have countries like Australia which are very, very vulnerable to commodity prices remain under pressure. So that's why that market is faring poorly today as well.

The one exception, Rosemary, has been Tokyo's stocks. Up for the first time in three trading sessions, up more than 2 percent, you would have thought traders said that first admission by the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of a possibility of postponing the Olympics this summer would have been negative news, but they say, they are seeing some signs of Bank of Japan coming into the market to buy what they call exchange traded funds.

Like they said a couple weeks back, they said they would do when the market was vulnerable. So, that has been the exception, other than that, we are seeing continued weakness in equities here in Asia, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Yes, that is the one bit of optimism there when we look at those numbers. Kaori Enjori, many thanks to you for bringing us the details on that. I appreciate it.

Canada and now Australia have announced they will not be sending athletes to the Olympic Games this summer because of the coronavirus outbreak. In separate statements, both countries said they made the decision based on the risks and called for the games in Tokyo to be postponed.

The International Olympic Committee is currently considering rescheduling the event, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says it's a possibility.

Well, for more, CNN's Will Ripley joins me now from Tokyo. That's certainly not how he felt not so long ago and how it affects. How likely is it that these upcoming Olympic Games will be postponed until next year?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think it's all but inevitable at this stage, Rosemary, that the Olympics are going to be postponed. But the reason why it could take up to four weeks for the IOC in Tokyo 2020 organizers to iron out the details is because of just what a massive undertaking this is going to be.

To reschedule a global event like the Olympics, we have athletes from 200 plus countries coming in. I mean, you are talking about the venues that need to be rebooked. You need to make sure they are available at the time that they decide to move the Olympics to, you have to make sure that athletes qualifying events can still happen and what that schedule is going to be.

There are so many different stakeholders so many different dollars involved. I'm being told this could be more expensive postponing the game to just canceling them altogether, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Yes. And then of course I did want to ask you before you go for the latest on the numbers there across Japan, and just how the Japanese government is dealing with that pandemic.

RIPLEY: Yes, I think the Japanese government has been focused on trying to show the world that they have the coronavirus situation under control here, when the reality is that it's not just about Japan, it's about how things in Europe and the United States are evolving and making it too difficult for the Olympics to go forward.

But the fact is, Japan doesn't have the coronavirus outbreak under control. Just yesterday they saw their biggest single day spike in deaths, five new deaths reported, bringing the total deaths to 49. And the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country close to 1,100.

But the problem with that official number, is that Japan is still testing just a tiny fraction of other countries in the region and around the world. And there are things that I'm seeing on the ground here, Rosemary, that have me concerned.

Like this weekend, there were a lot of people, mostly young people, packed into the parks here in Tokyo viewing the cherry blossoms. This annual tradition known as hanami in Japan which is so popular, and it still seems to be happening. Crowds are still gathering despite the fact that the government is urging people to socially distance.

But it's not really a thing here. People are still going to the office. Some people are wearing masks. Some people are not. So even though we have a relatively small number of confirmed cases, we don't know, for example, how many cases of the flu and pneumonia are being reported right now because that kills tens of thousands of old people in Japan, and oftentimes there is no autopsy performed in those situations.

So, there really are a lot of questions about whether Japanese authorities truly have a handle on the coronavirus inside this country, because mainly their public focus has been on the Olympics which now looks like it's all but certainly going to be postponed.

CHURCH: Yes. Of course, your point about people not getting it there in Japan, they're not getting it on a lot of countries. It's a very strange situation. Because we are certainly getting the messages out there. Government officials are trying to do that, various media outlets are trying to do that, and it doesn't seem to be landing in some places.

Will Ripley, many thanks to you for bringing us that live report from Tokyo. I appreciate it.

Well, new infections of COVID-19 spiking dramatically across Europe. Italy is asking for help from the United States, and Germany is banning gatherings of more than two people. All that and more after the break.



CHURCH: Well, the number of new cases and deaths linked to COVID-19 increasingly relentless across Europe. In Italy, 651 people died between Saturday and Sunday. That is a 13 percent increase in just 24 hours. Italy has asked the U.S. for support battling the virus. Nearly 5,000 Italian health care workers are infected, more than 10

percent of Spanish medical workers are sick as well. The death toll in Spain rose by a staggering 30 percent in 24 hours. Thousands of new rapid detection tests are being distributed across the country, and tough new travel have been imposed.

Meantime, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is going into self- quarantine after a doctor she saw last week tested positive for the virus. She's -- will still be working though, and announced a ban of gathering -- a ban on gatherings of more than two people.

The number of confirmed cases in Germany rose 12 percent between Saturday and Sunday.

And senior international correspondent Fred Pleitgen is in Berlin. He joins us now live to talk about this. Let's start with Angela Merkel. Because that is a real concern, isn't it? She went to get a vaccination of some sort and ended up having to self-quarantine because this doctor was infected.



CHURCH: What does that perhaps tell us about some of the other leaders not only across Europe, but elsewhere across the globe and how vulnerable they are?

PLEITGEN: Well, yes, I think on the one hand, it tells us that obviously no leader isn't any way going to be able to confine themselves completely. And that all of them are just as vulnerable as pretty much the rest of the population.

But I think it also shows that some of the measures that have already been taken in Germany are also working as well. It was actually quite a strange thing that went down, Rosemary, because Angela Merkel had just finished her press statement where she announced these new measures that you just mentioned that were going to be put in place.

(Technical difficulty) was to be doing that while she was walking offstage and (Technical difficulty) the German government put out a statement that she was going into self-quarantine immediately.

And apparently, what happened is that this doctor gave her a vaccination on Friday afternoon, and then, they found out on Sunday afternoon that she -- that he had contracted coronavirus, and immediately put her into self-quarantine.

She is going to continue to get corona test they say because they believe that the time difference between Friday afternoon when she was in contact with this doctor, and then Sunday afternoon when they found out that the doctor had coronavirus, is too short for any corona test to be reliable just yet.

So, they say they are going to continue to test her while she is in self-quarantine, and continuing to have a full workload. Now, one of the things that shows that some of these measures are

already working is that Angela Merkel throughout the hours (Technical difficulty) that she had been in contact with someone who had coronavirus, was actually in a teleconference with all of the members, all of the governors, normally that meeting would've happened face to face.

And if it would have happened (Technical difficulty) --

CHURCH: All right. We are going to have to cut Fred Pleitgen off there in Berlin. Unfortunately, we were having audio issues there but he was certainly able to bring us up to date on the situation across Germany.

In Italy, that -- it has surpassed China in coronavirus deaths. With no end in sight, as we've been reporting, the virus killed another 651 people in that country in the past day, and nearly 5,500 overall.

CNN's Barbie Nadeau takes a look at why the country has been hit so hard and what lessons the world can learn from this European nation.

BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: A convoy of military trucks passes through the northern Italian city of Bergamo. Crematoriums so overwhelmed that the military is transporting the dead. And there are many, many dead. More have now died from COVID-19 in Italy than in all of China where the virus first emerged. That's despite Italy having far fewer overall cases.

The question, why and what can America learn from it. In addition to sending a plane full of supplies, Chinese have also sent the vice president of the Red Cross who gave this explanation.


SUN SHUOPENG, VICE PRESIDENT, CHINESE RED CROSS: You do not have very strict walkout policies of the city because the public transportation is still working and people are still moving around, and you are still having like dinners and parties in the hotels, and you are not wearing masks.


NADEAU: Here in Rome, it's plain to see officials are putting ever more stringent policies in place trying to keep people home, but as you can see there plenty of Romans out disobeying the order.


ANDREA, BUTCHER IN ROME (through translator): If I stay here every day, I risk contagion. There aren't rules, the people don't understand. It seems like Italians don't get it. They shouldn't stand less than a meter apart.

MAURO, NEWSTAND WORKER (through translator): Lots of people are afraid, they are taking the situation very seriously. They go around in face masks and keep their distance. They try to avoid contact, while others act like nothing is happening. Like it's a normal flu. They are underestimating the problem.


NADEAU: Italy declared its first positive cases at the end of January. The prime minister move quickly to declare a state of emergency, but it would not be until three weeks later on February 23rd that the government started to ban public gatherings, close schools and ask anyone who might have been exposed to self-quarantine in northern Italy where most of the cases were at that point.

Leaders sent mixed messages even politicians posting photos of themselves out drinking cocktails in Milan. It would not be until two weeks after that March 8 that the region was put on lockdown. Two hundred thirty-three were already dead. Marzio Toniolo is a school teacher in San Fiorano, part of the original red zone.



MARIO TONIOLO, TEACHER (through translator): Here people have never stop dying. Every day it has been like this. We have the number of deaths that just keeps increasing exponentially. A police car is just passed by, maybe the first time I've heard this. They are asking the population to stay inside their homes.


NADEAU: Italy's population is older than average, and the average coronavirus victim here is just over 80. Like other European countries testing here has not been nearly as aggressive as in countries like Korea, meaning it's been much harder to trace the infection. And as the center of the first contagion in Europe, its hospitals were immediately overwhelmed. At first, Italy's government counted on people to do the right thing. Now they make sure they do.


DANIELA CONFALONIERI, NURSE IN MILAN (through translator): There is a high level of contagion, and we're are not even counting the dead anymore. Look at the news that's coming out of Italy and take note of what the situation really is like. It's unimaginable.


NADEAU: Take heed. Barbie Nadeau, CNN, Rome.

CHURCH: Well, hospitals around the world need more medical supplies. Coming up next, an expert's take on what progress is being made.


CHURCH: The world is under siege as the number of coronavirus cases globally sores. There are at least 339,000 cases and nearly 15,000 people are dead worldwide.


That is according to Johns Hopkins University.

Italy is the hardest hit with more than 5,400 people dead.

Japan is reporting its biggest one-day surge in deaths. And Japan's prime minister is finally admitting that they might have to postpone the Olympic Games.

Australia is going into lockdown. Theaters, restaurants, gyms, and places of worship all shut down on Monday. And Australia's prime minister is calling 2020, quote, "the toughest year of our lives."

With me now to talk more about this is Jerome Pfaffman, a health specialist at UNICEF. Thank you so much for talking with us.

Now we're hearing many world leaders talk about this being a war against the coronavirus, we're on a war footing. But it doesn't appear to be resonating with many people across the globe, does it? How do you get that message across to people that this is serious, particularly to the young people?

JEROME PFAFFMANN, SENIOR ADVISER ON PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCIES, UNICEF: Thank you very much. I think you are pointing at the right issue here. This is the very serious pandemic and we need to be all mobilized to fight against this pandemic and put it under control.

This being said, the vocabulary around war and the image around war is different than what we are facing. We at UNICEF we know what it is to be at war and especially for the victims and the children that are victims of war.

And here what we need is to start a new momentum, a new approach. It's about public health response which means it's about care, it's about empathy, it's about solidarity. These are the values we need to build on if we want to put this epidemic under control.

CHURCH: But how do you do that because people it's -- that people are not grasping that this is serious? Young people think it's the coronavirus, who cares. I don't care. I'll get it. I'll go and party on the beach. How do you get that message across, because you can't say that message isn't being sent out? It's just not being received.

PFAFFMANN: So, maybe the way we address the youth is needs to be approached differently. Maybe the moral approach and blaming the youth about the epidemic is not the right way to make sure that we can use the best opportunity that the youth and the children can bring to this outbreak. They are going to be part of the solution. So --


CHURCH: But how? But how do you make them a part of that solution? Because they can't be out on the front line helping the health workers because that would be dangerous. So, what role could they play here to make them feel that they are a part of it because people can't get the image out of their minds of these kids out partying on beaches. PFAFFMANN: So, we need to engage more and the partying on beaches of

course is an image that is harmful even to the youth herself or itself. I think we need to build on more positive messages. We have a flurry of example where youth are using social media to convey the right messages. They use your report as a way to share knowledge and engage.

I think we need to share and to put forward examples, good examples so we create a positive momentum around how the youth can contribute and is contributing actually to control the outbreak.

CHURCH: Right, so perhaps through Snapchat or Instagram, some sort of message or something that they can do through music, perhaps or something like that. But at the moment we're not seeing them mobilize, are we?

So, what it's going to take do you think to stop the spread of this virus? And why do you think Italy and Spain have been hit so hard particularly?

PFAFFMANN: It is very hard to give an exact explanation according to me. It is -- we are looking at the number increasing, and we can see that public health authorities are taking desperate measures to control and to slow down the outbreak, especially using lockdown.

I think what is important is not to give up on the key elements that are required to stop the spread of the outbreak and to reverse the epidemic curve which means to keep on identifying the cases and by testing them by isolating the cases, by doing the contact tracing, and by ensuring that we block the chains of transmission.

The lockdown is a desperate measure that is giving some time. We're buying some time to alleviate the pressure on the health system. It is important, but we need to use that time that we are buying to invest massively to get ready and stop the -- to get the -- to control the outbreak itself.


CHURCH: All right. Jerome Pfaffmann, thank you so much for talking with us. I do appreciate it.

PFAFFMANN: Thank you.

CHURCH: Well, a key member of the U.S. White House coronavirus task force speaking frankly about working with the Trump administration during this pandemic.

Dr. Anthony Fauci gave an interview to the Journal of Science. He was asked about false statements regarding COVID-19 made by U.S. President Donald Trump. And Fauci said -- I'm quoting here -- "I can't jump in front of the microphone and push him down."

Now, the infectious disease expert who has advised six presidents says his focus is on getting inaccurate statements corrected, and he is doing that. We see it. Well, the U.K. is urging its most vulnerable citizens to stay home for

12 weeks in order to avoid the virus. Officials are sending letters to one a half million people most at risk and are offering them aid such as food so they don't have to leave their homes.

The secretary for housing communities and local governments says they are doing this to protect the public.


ROBERT JENRICK, BRITISH SECRETARY FOR HOUSING, COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT: This week, the NHS will contact people by letter identified as being of higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. This will also be followed up where possible by text and by phone call. We'll be asking these people not to leave home at all to avoid face to face contact for 12 weeks all to protect themselves.


CHURCH: And Hadas Gold is in London now. She joins us with more on this. And Hadas, it has to be said the United Kingdom is very slow at the start to respond to this pandemic. It was criticized roundly particularly the prime minister. What's happening now?

HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it was a much different approach here compared to other countries that seemed to institute faster lockdowns. On Friday was the first day that pubs and restaurants, cafes, and gyms and theaters were finally shut down. It's also when schools were finally let out. And starting today actually is the first day that there will not be classes and it's the first work day that I think we're really seeing more of this lockdown.

However, it's not a full lockdown and it's not being completely enforced because people are still out and about. And there's a huge concern that over the weekend, certain parks saw incredible crowding. I saw Farmer's Markets that were still open and people were still going to them and that is of huge concern.

So, yesterday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson tried again to urge people to stop congregating in public, stop going out. The house secretary is out this morning on the morning shows trying again to convince people please stay home unless it is absolutely necessary.

But we have not yet here reached that effective lockdown phase except as you noted for those 1.5 million vulnerable people. These are people undergoing, for example, cancer treatments. These are people with intense health problems where the government says, is saying literally do not leave your house for any reason. We will bring everything to you.

But there is still concern the concern here about the other vulnerable people. People who might not be in that 1.5 million range how are they going to get supplies. Grocery store deliveries of course are overwhelmed.

But right now, there is the question of just not if there will be a total lockdown, a forced lockdown where people have to stay in their homes. But the actual question is just when it will happen.

CHURCH: Yes, we keep hearing the story over and over again, people not understanding how serious this situation is, just how contagious COVID-19 is. It's just extraordinary.

I did want to ask you about the number of infections spiking across Europe, particularly Italy and in Spain. What is the latest on those numbers and how are some of those countries responding to this pandemic?

GOLD: We have seen some concerning members especially out of Spain that had one of its worse single-day increases of nearly 400 deaths which brings their deaths to more than 5,400 people dead in Spain. Italy of course which has been the hardest hit also had a high number of deaths. Their deaths rose by 651.

However, in a glimmer of good news, that is less than the previous day reported, so there is hope that this is potentially hopefully a downward trend so we can start seeing it going down.

Now we're seeing also European countries asking for help from other countries around the world. Italy has asked the United States military for assistance to both in just supplies, and also they've asked if the personnel could come help. And Spain is getting a shipment of medical supplies from China.

CHURCH: All right. Hadas Gold joining us live from London, many thanks for that report. I appreciate it.

We'll take a short break here. Still to come, coronavirus sent Wuhan, China into lockdown exactly two months ago today. It is a very slow return to normalcy.


Why the city continues to be on high alert. That's ahead.


CHURCH: Well, Hong Kong is reporting a growing number of coronavirus cases, most of which have been imported from overseas. Now airport officials are ramping up screening measures to detect the virus before it spreads any further.

CNN's Ivan Watson joins me now with the very latest. And Ivan, I understand that Carrie Lam has been talking about measures that the Hong Kong government plan to put in place. What are you hearing -- I mean, and in fact, Reuters is reporting that they'll be cut -- that they'll be really clamping down on visitors coming in from overseas? Talk to us about what's being done at the airport for that.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. She's just announced further travel restrictions such as the fact that anybody who is not a Hong Kong resident will not be allowed to travel here within the next 14 days. And also, that transit travelers will not be allowed to come here to Hong Kong. Now that's really important because I'm right now at Hong Kong's

International Airport. This is the main gateway in and out of this city. And as of last week, midnight on Thursday, the Hong Kong government announced that any visitor arriving from overseas would have to go into mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Now, there's a reason why the government is introducing these new measures. Hong Kong has had its schools closed since January 29th. This is a very densely populated city, more than seven million people. It's right next to mainland China where the coronavirus pandemic first began.

And Hong Kong had succeeded in keeping the number of confirmed infections at a relatively low level considering this close geographical proximity to around 150 people up until last week.


In the last week, those numbers have doubled, Rosemary, and most of the cases are either people who have been traveling internationally or in close contact with international travel -- travelers. And that's why the authorities have suddenly started cracking down.

So, as of today, the public servants are not going to work. All the public facilities, you know, pools, recreational centers, libraries. They're all being closed. These were measures that had been in place for an entire month up until March second.

Since Hong Kong had succeeded in kind of controlling the outbreak, a lot of those restrictions were loosened and lifted and now the government is having to come down and crackdown harder to keep the city from backtracking further, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Ivan, what we have seen in many countries around the globe is people not really understanding how serious this is. What has been the response of people on the streets in Hong Kong?

WATSON: Well, I do have to say that over the last two weeks there was a lot of travel, a lot of people out on the streets. Bars and cafes were full, parks were full, and some of that is normal. You know, people clearly had been cooped up in their homes and were feeling kind of safer and more secure in coming out.

One of the new measures that the government has introduced is each one of these arrivals you may see here is wearing a blue electronic wristband. And that's to help monitor the people during their mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Now, the Hong Kong police announced today that they had caught five people who broke their quarantine, two of whom tried to cut off their wristbands. They've been sent to quarantine centers. They're not allowed to do it at home anymore.

And they announced that they've put 35 people -- at least 35 onto -- 36 people onto a wanted list because they left their homes. So, the authorities are having to impose some punishment. You can be jailed for up to six months, receive more than 3,000 U.S. dollars in fines if you break these quarantines.

CHURCH: Wow. It is an extraordinary new world we're all living in. In some instances, some countries are offering a vision into our future perhaps.

Ivan Watson, many thanks to you for bringing us that live report from Hong Kong. I appreciate it.

Well, Wuhan, China believed to be the center of the original coronavirus outbreak has reported no new cases for five straight days. Today marks the two-month anniversary of the lockdown on the city. Life is beginning to return to some degree of normalcy.

But even with decline of infections, Wuhan continues to be on high alert, particularly with incoming foreign flights.

CNN's senior producer Steven Jiang joins me now from Beijing with more. Steven, we've seen some very encouraging numbers from Wuhan. The big question, of course, is how reliable are those numbers because there have been problems with transparency on the part of China's government.

STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: That's right, Rosemary. The reliability of these numbers are a big question mark, really on the minds of many people including local residents given the initial mishandling or even alleged cover up of this outbreak by local officials.

In the past few days actually, we have seen numerous online social media posts being widely circulated alleging the existence of new cases in the city. Now, some even showing photos, public notices posted by property managers at certain residential compounds in the city.

These voices of skepticism had gotten so loud the Wuhan government actually issued a statement on Sunday to deny these allegations saying they have checked with all local hospitals and found no -- human have new cases and there are no evidence that anyone with this virus being denied treatment because hospitals did not want to report new cases.

The government did say some of these allegations may be due to misunderstanding that some previously confirmed cases being mistakenly thought to be new cases. But they at least in one instance, they did confirm the discovery of one asymptomatic carrier of the virus being found in the neighborhood.

So, this is of course is also very worrying because they could be infectious, Rosemary. So, this denial of the allegations may be adding more alarm than calming peoples' mind. Rosemary?

CHURCH: Indeed. We need reliable numbers from all countries around the globe so we can get a true picture of the what the real mortality rate is with this, the true infections, and of course the deaths. Steven Jiang, many thanks to you for bringing us that live report from Beijing. I appreciate it. [03:49:55]

Well, as traveling gets more restricted around the world, airlines are struggling to keep running. We will tell you the latest airline that's slashed most of its flights. That's next.


CHURCH: Well, another airline is cutting most of its operations due to the coronavirus. Singapore Airlines will reduce 96 percent of its capacity until the end of April. One hundred thirty-eight of its 147 planes will be grounded.

The company says the decision comes after border controls were tightened across the world and passenger revenue dropped. Singapore Airlines is of course just the latest airline struggling in the middle of this pandemic.

Joining me now with more is CNN business emerging markets editor John Defterios in Abu Dhabi. So, John, good to see you, but of course the economic fallout is being felt everywhere. What is the latest on the impact on this health crisis on the airline industry across the Middle East?

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN BUSINESS EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Well, you have Singapore as you just announced, Rosemary, and they take pride here as serving as an air bridge between Asia and Europe. And that's going to change at least for two weeks, many think for much longer.

The UAE government saying that it's stopping all passenger travel in and out of the country. And that would be for Dubai and Abu Dhabi and even some of the smaller airports going forward.


They said that cargo flights will continue because they are very dependent on imports and exports for the economy but also that emergency evacuation flights will not be impacted which sends another signal entirely.

Turkish Airlines which is a competitor here in the Middle East, it ranks 10th in terms of international arrivals, will eliminate all international routes bar five going to strategic locations where there is still demand.

Also overnight the UAE government put in extremely tight restrictions on movement, so people saying you have to use personal cars to only pick up food at markets and medicine where necessary. Do not go to a hospital unless it's an emergency.

They're going to make announcements about public transport systems for the service workers going forward. But a huge change in the last 12 hours alone.

CHURCH: Right. John Defterios bringing us the latest there from Abu Dhabi, many thanks to you. And thank you for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church. Remember to do your part to help our doctors all across the globe and stay home if at all possible. We'll have more news just ahead with our Robyn Curnow. Do stay with us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN breaking news.

ROBYN CURNOW, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, welcome back to our viewers from the United States all around the world. Thanks for joining me. I'm Robyn Curnow here at CNN's world news headquarters in Atlanta.

So, we are following new developments out of Hong Kong. The chief executive has just announced new extreme measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus.


So, this is what we know. Carrie Lam says the city will ban all nonresidents from entering the city.