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Coronavirus Pandemic; Merkel Self Quarantines After Doctor Test Positive; DOW Futures Drop As Senate Fails To Move Bill Forward; Asia Markets Mostly Lower In Monday Trading; United States Senate Fails To Advance Emergency Aid Package; Spain's Death Toll Rises 30 Percent In One Day; Italy Tightens Lockdown As Coronavirus Deaths Climb; Curfew Leaves Cities Deserted Across India; Kenya To Suspend All International Flights. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired March 23, 2020 - 04:30   ET



ROBYN CURNOW, CNN ANCHOR: Mrs. Merkel, will still be working though. She has banned gathering also of more than two people. Confirmed cases of covid-19 in Germany rose 12 percent between Saturday and Sunday.

And global markets are certainly feeling the effects of a pandemic. DOW futures dropped by 900 points after the U.S. Senate failed to pass a stimulus package. In the Asian markets, take a look at this, the Hang Seng fell at open extending (inaudible) it have found itself in positive territory.

Meanwhile, European -- started trading all in the red zone. And the London FTSE is also down nearly 5 percent.

Across the U.S. the death toll has shot up to 413 with more than 34,000 infections. Natasha Chen shows us how the state and the federal government are now responding. Natasha.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And through FEMA, the federal government will be funding 100 percent of the cost of deploying National Guard units.

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Sunday's announcement sends troops to Washington, California, and New York. The states hardest hit by the coronavirus. A move that comes one week into the White House's 15-day plan to slow the spread of the pandemic. In one week we've seen the number of cases in the U.S. go from 4,000 to more than 30,000 and the number of deaths have gone from 72 to at least 400. It's a signal that Americans may experience quarantined life far longer than 15 days.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): This is literally a matter of life and death. We get these facilities up, we get the supplies, we will save lives. If we don't --

CHEN: Governor Andrew Cuomo says 40 to 80 percent of people across New York -- he and other governors had been calling for more federal help.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are getting some progress. Now, it's not nearly enough, it's not fast enough. We're way behind the curve.

TRUMP: And whatever the states can get they should be getting. I say we are sort of a backup for the states.

CHEN: But the president did say deliveries of medical supplies and federal medical stations with thousands of beds will be going to the hardest hit states. So far the shortage of such resources has prompted a new directive in some jurisdictions to test only high priorities patients. Many hospitals have also stop performing elective surgeries. One health care system in New York is barring visitors from the maternity ward, no one but the mother giving birth. All the while, health providers on the frontlines are bracing themselves.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm afraid I'm going to get this virus. I'm going to try my hardest not to.

CHEN: All of this makes Congress' stimulus package crucial.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Make no mistake about it, we'll be voting tomorrow.

CHEN: But the fate -- he tested positive for coronavirus and several other GOP Senators are in -- absent. The bill will need serious bipartisan support to pass. And Democrats do not agree on details of the aid given to states and large industries.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are issues that have not been resolved. There are serious issues.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The package that the Republicans has drawn up does nothing to help struggling workers. First responders need PPE, Personal Protective Equipment and resources today to and our hospitals and our first responders. There's nothing in it for them. And you know, and instead, it creates a $500 billion slush fund for Steve Mnuchin to, you know, hand out loans for corporations as he pleases.

CHEN: Meanwhile, streets are growing quiet throughout the country. Even massive football stadiums are now becoming test sites. And as we continue facing this challenge in physical isolation, some like these high school students are finding ways to virtually stick together. Somewhere over the rainbow

CUOMO: America is America because we overcome adversity and challenges. We're going to overcome this and America will be the greater for it.

CHEN: Natasha Chen, CNN, Atlanta.


CURNOW: In Spain the coronavirus death toll rose 30 percent from Saturday into Sunday with more than 1700 fatalities. So Spain is also starting to get out thousands of new rapid coronavirus detection kits. The country expects -- more tests from other European countries and China. Well, Al Goodman is joining us now from Madrid with more on all of that. This death toll though certainly very concerning. Hi, Al, good to see you.

AL GOODMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Robyn. Indeed, the death toll has really been shooting up. And in terms of the number of Spaniards infected, a significant number, 12 percent, 3400 people are medical workers. And some of them have been complaining since the outset of this crisis, either through their unions or even individually that they didn't have enough equipment. The protective masks, the gloves, the hospital gowns.

So on Sunday, the Prime Minister announcing an extension of the state of emergency. That's the stay at home order you can see I'm right near at the Portugal, the center of the capital, extend this order, because the idea is keep people apart, to reduce the infections.


Extended a month in all, taking out to Saturday, April 11th. The day before Easter. On those rapid testing kits, 650,000 of them are being rolled out this week, starting with the healthcare workers, then to senior citizens at the nursing homes. Those places have all been particularly hard hit. Many of the deaths coming from those places and then to the general population according to authorities.

Also, the Madrid regional government, Madrid being the area hardest hit overall in all of Spain with the number of cases and the number of deaths bringing in a couple of plane loads of medical supplies, one of them from China arriving here by Tuesday. There will be respirators for the intensive care wards and those badly needed masks, gloves, and hospital gowns.

Also as they ramp up the effort to get additional hospital beds, the 5500 bed provisional hospitals at the Madrid convention center is now operations and hotels that are empty, because of -- hospitals as well. Back to you, Robyn?

CURNOW: That's interesting. Thanks so much for all your team there in Madrid.

Still to come on CNN, Italy is tightening its lockdown as the coronavirus deaths skyrocket there. We are on that story. Plus, what lessons can the world learn from Italy as it desperately struggles to contain the virus. Here's what one teacher in lockdown is saying.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would say to everybody else who maybe is about to follow this pattern that Italy has, just preempt it. Just stop the spread of the virus already.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CURNOW: Welcome back. I'm Robyn Curnow here in Atlanta. So, Italy has

surpassed China in coronavirus deaths with no end in sight. The virus killed another 651 people in Italy.


Just in the last day, I learned, we know that nearly 5500 overall have died. So, CNN's Barbie Nadeau takes a look now why the country has been so hard hit and what lessons the world can learn from this European nation. Here's Barbie's report.


BARBIE LATZA 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 over all cases. The question, why? And what can America learn from it? In addition to sending a plane full of supplies --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you want to say something --

NADEAU: -- Chinese have also sent the vice president of the Red Cross who gave this explanation.

SUN SHUOPENG, VICE PRESIDENT CHINESE RED CROSS: You are not having very strict lockup policy 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 are plenty of Romans out disobeying the order.

ANDREA, BUTCHER IN ROME (through translator): Every day there is a risk of contagion. They're out in groups. The people don't understand. It seems like Italians don't get it. They shouldn't stand less than a meter apart.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Lots of people are afraid. They are taking the situation very seriously. They go around in facemasks and keep their distance. They try to avoid contact while others act like nothing's happening. Like it's a normal flu. They're underestimating the problem.

NADEAU: Italy declared its first positive cases at the end of January. The Prime Minister moved 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 8th that the region

was put on lockdown, 233 were already dead. Marzio Toniolo is a school teacher in San Ferrano (ph), part of the original red zone.

MARZIO TONIOLO, SCHOOL TEACHER IN SAN FERRANO (through translator): Here people have never stopped dying. Every day it has been like this. We have a number of deaths that just keeps increasing exponentially.

A police car has just passed by. Maybe the first time I have 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, it's hospitals were immediately overwhelmed. At first Italy's government counted on people to do the right thing. Now they make sure they do.

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

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


CURNOW: Thanks, Barbie. A powerful piece there. So, CNN is following one British citizen who moved to Italy about six weeks ago to become a language teacher. Karli Drinkwater been producing a video blog on what life is like under lockdown. And understandably, she says, she is still in a state of shock and disbelief.

KARLI DRINKWATER, TEACHER ON LOCKDOWN IN ITALY: There is a feeling that -- of disbelief that it couldn't get this bad and every time a new decree was introduced I kept saying, I didn't think it would get to this point. I didn't think it could get this bad.

CURNOW: So, that teacher, Karli Drinkwater joins us now from Italy. Karli, good to see you. So your perspective has been very interesting because as our reporter said in the last piece, you know, Italians and people who live in Italy say take heed, be warned, this is coming to you guys wherever you are around the world. What has it been like? How long have you been under lockdown?


DRINKWATER: Well, we have been under full lockdown for two weeks now. We're entering week three, but this is actually week five for me. Schools have been suspended for five weeks and -- but of course the real feeling of oppression and lack of freedom started two weeks ago. And even two weeks ago it wasn't as serious as it is now. There seems to be a new decree out almost every day. So we think we have to do one thing, but then as the cases rise and the death toll rises, another decree comes out telling us now we have to do this, now we have to do this.

And now we're at a point that we are effectively under House arrest. The only thing that we can do is go to the supermarket or go to the pharmacy but that is with documentation. You must keep I.D. with you. You must keep paperwork and it has to be signed with all your information, personal details and you have to specifically write what you're doing. So, for example of one, and I have to write, I'm going to do the weekly shop and that's actually a point in itself.

You can't just go to the supermarket as an excuse. They've even specified, you can't go to the supermarket and buy a pint of milk or loaf of bread, you must be going to do a weekly shop. There are security on the door and there are police patrolling.

CURNOW: Yes. And as you say, this is not inconceivable this could be rolled up here in America or in other parts of Europe or in Asia. And do you think it's working? And more importantly, how are you personally keeping busy? How are your neighbors keeping busy? How are you managing?

DRINKWATER: We are holding tight. We're keeping busy through any indoor activity, reading, watching films, cooking. I think we'll put on a weight through this but the least --

CURNOW: Drinking too much probably as well?

DRINKWATER: Absolutely.

CURNOW: I've also noticed here in the states, I think every puzzle has been bought on Amazon and Target. Certainly families are coming together in a positive way. Are you seeing that where you are? Or is it all very anxious?

DRINKWATER: It's very quiet. We live in the countryside so I have seen reports and I've seen friends of mine across Italy share videos of them coming out onto the balcony playing musical instruments singing to each other which is such a beautiful way to respond to the loneliness we are facing. But in the countryside, it's just really quiet.

And nothing is really happening. The beautiful side is we can hear the birds. We can appreciate the nature really calmly apart from when the police cars come around and put their speaker phones on to tell us to stay inside, which we are definitely already doing.

But there is a sense of quiet stoicism. We're just staying inside. We're doing our part. There are people doing much worse and working much harder than we are. The doctor and nurses are, the front line, the only line of defense against this. So what we are being asked to do is little in comparison.

CURNOW: Yes. A sense of perspective there. Karli, thanks so much. It's wonderful reading all of your blogs and your conversations. Keep it up. Thank you. DRINKWATER: Thank you.

CURNOW: OK. So, let's go to South Africa now. The country's bracing for the worst. As the number of confirmed cases there approaches 300. We are live from Johannesburg just ahead in a moment. David is standing by.

Plus, cities across India are deserted as officials extend the world's biggest public curfew in many parts of the country. We're also live from New Delhi next. You're watching CNN. Stay with us.



CURNOW: Take a look at these images. Cities appearing deserted across India. Thanks to a lockdown that has just been extended until the end of the month. It's all part of an effort to stop the coronavirus from spreading. Millions of people are impacted certainly. The decision to lockdown 75 districts including major cities like New Delhi comes after India launched the world's largest exercise in social distancing for 14 hours on Sunday. Clearly those pigeons were not listening. During that event, some 1.3 billion people were asked to participate.

Well, CNN producer Vedika Sud, joins us from New Delhi with more on all of this. Just an extraordinary number of people and expectations of how they need to be interacting.

VEDIKA SUD, CNN PRODUCER: Well, as of now, as you correctly pointed out, we have about 75 districts in complete lockdown. Now why 75 districts would be the question? Well, these are the places where the confirmed coronavirus cases has emerged from. So, the lockdown has started with the 75 districts.

A lot of states have voluntarily decided to go ahead with a total lockdown of their states as well. Now, as far as the national capital of New Delhi is concerned, there's a total lockdown. Only essential services are allowed out here. People of course cannot go to offices. All commercial markets have been closed. Even public transport has been shut down. Interstate traveling also through, you know, buses has been closed down for now.

So as of now people have been asked to work from home. Private companies have asked their people to go ahead and run meetings through WebEx, and Zoom, and all that they can for now. As far as (inaudible) is concerned, he has reached out to the people through Twitter and asked them to pay heed to what the government is saying. He claims a lot of people are not listening to the lockdown as of now and that clearly is the current worry for in debt.

CURNOW: Certainly is. OK. Vedika, thank you so much for that update.

So turning now to how the virus is increasingly impacting Africa. Kenya is clamping down and that citizens is spending all international flights, that's starting in Wednesday. We know officials there say the majority of Kenyans actually ignoring containment measures. Meanwhile the Prime Minister of Rwanda has declared a nationwide

lockdown. And then South Africa now has nearly 300 confirmed cases. A national state of disaster has been in place there for a week. Let's go straight to Johannesburg, CNN's correspondent David McKenzie is standing by with more on all of that. Hi, Dave. Good to see you there. And we understand Ramaphosa has been speaking as well.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He has been. And he's due to speak later today, Robyn, where he is due to give a very substantial, we believe update on the measures in South Africa against the covid-19 virus. As you say, this country has been in a state of disaster for more than a week now. And just observing this certain areas that I've come across, it does seem like people are heeding at least some of those requests, edicts to stay out of very large groups, to not drink after a certain hour and restaurants have certainly seen a reduction in the clientele.

Across Africa though it appears, according to scientist that it is in a different stage of this epidemic possibly in Italy and the U.S. Nevertheless, you've had these major flag carriers like -- South African airways and Ethiopian airlines drastically -- international travel and in some cases stopping them. One of the most striking moves by a government has been in Uganda. They are blocking off any people coming into the country by land, sea, or air even by their own citizens. And it's expected that these kind of measures will be increasing in the coming days. Robyn?

CURNOW: Yes, they'll probably will. Thanks so much. David McKenzie there live in Johannesburg. Thanks, Dave.

Thank you for joining us. I'm Robyn Curnow. This has been CNN Newsroom. I'm going to hand you over to New Day with John Berman and Christine Romans in just a moment. Thanks for watching. You're watching CNN.