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President Donald Trump Makes An Apparent About Face On A Quarantine In Three Northeastern States; England Scrambling For Hospital Beds As Spanish Authorities Issue New Lockdown Measures; Love In The Time Of Coronavirus. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired March 29, 2020 - 02:00   ET



MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm Michael Holmes and coming up here on CNN NEWSROOM, President Donald Trump makes an apparent about face on a quarantine in three northeastern states. Hear what made him change his mind.

England scrambling for hospital beds as Spanish authorities issue new lockdown measures. We are live in Madrid and London.

And love in the time of coronavirus. Hear from the man who risked it all to pop the question.

Thanks for your company, everyone. An about face from President Trump ditching the idea that he floated earlier on Saturday on what he called a possible quarantine of parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

He raised the possibility Saturday morning after talking with Florida's Republican Governor. The governor said they discussed people from the hot zones around New York, coming to Florida and possibly infecting Floridians.

Mr. Trump tweeted his idea of a quarantine and then spoke about it twice on Saturday, once when leaving the White House and again in Virginia.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Some people would like to see New York quarantined because it's a hot spot. New York, New Jersey, maybe one or two other places, certain parts of Connecticut quarantined. I'm thinking about that right now.

I am now considering -- and we'll make a decision very quickly, very shortly a quarantine because it's such a hot area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.


HOLMES: Now at that point, the President had apparently not even spoken to the Democratic governors of the three states in question and got pushback from several political leaders and experts. New York's governor calling it quite possibly illegal.

Then on Saturday night, the President issued via what else? A tweet -- this -- saying that he was asking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to issue what he called a strong travel advisory.

These guidelines from the C.D.C. call for the residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately. That's very similar to what governors of those states had already put in place.

And Mr. Trump was in Virginia to see off the U.S. Navy Hospital ship Comfort. It is now headed to New York to provide hospital beds for non-coronavirus patients.

As it makes its way, the U.S. crossed yet another tragic milestone. At least 2,043 people in the U.S. have died now of coronavirus, and that is double the amount from just two days ago.

The number of confirmed cases in the U.S. also skyrocketing, now topping at least 121,000.

And in Italy, another sad milestone. That country hitting 10,000 deaths at least, an increase of 889 from the day before.

And in the U.K., the parking lot of an amusement park turned into a testing center for healthcare workers. While Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be sending a letter to every household in Great Britain urging everyone to stay home saying things will only get -- will get worse before they get better.

Now there is a lot to cover and as you can see there, from all around the world -- Europe to Asia to Latin America and other regions as well -- let's begin though in Washington and White House correspondent, Jeremy Diamond.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Trump on Saturday backing down in the face of criticism.

The President earlier on Saturday proposing a quarantine essentially restricting travel for any residents of New York and people in parts of New Jersey and Connecticut, restricting them from traveling to other parts of the country.

The President late Saturday night, instead backing down and proposing this instead, "On the recommendation of the White House Coronavirus Taskforce and upon consultation with the Governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. I have asked the C.D.C. to issue a strong travel advisory to be administered by the Governors in consultation with the Federal government. A quarantine will not be necessary. Full details will be released by the C.D.C. tonight." That was the President tweeting on Saturday night.

So what the President is proposing here, it's not clear exactly what the details are. Of course, there are already pretty strict restrictions by each of those three states already in place. Take New York for example. There is a stay-at-home order encouraging

New Yorkers not to leave their home other than for necessities like getting groceries or getting medicine, so it's not clear what this travel advisory would do to actually change the situation on the ground.

But what is clear, though, is the timeline of all of this. The President's tweet backing down from his proposal earlier on Saturday morning came after criticism from New York's governor, Andrew Cuomo.


GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): This would be a Declaration of War on states, a Federal Declaration of War, and it wouldn't just be New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Next week, it would be Louisiana with New Orleans and the next week after that it would be Detroit, Michigan, and it would run all across the nation.


DIAMOND: Cuomo made pretty clear that he not only disagreed with this proposal by the President, but that he believed that it would be illegal if implemented, or that the President didn't have the legal authority to actually impose some kind of geographic base quarantine.

What is clear, though, is that this is in keeping with the President's thinking over the last several days. The President has been eager to get the economy going again and what he has been looking at as these 15-day guidelines are set to lapse in a matter of days is putting in a system that would be more geographic based, looking at the risk in certain areas of the country.

But it appears that the President's initial attempt to do something that would be geographic based, at least something that would be federally enforceable, so far has not come to fruition.

Jeremy Diamond, CNN, Washington.

HOLMES: And an infant in Chicago who tested positive for the coronavirus has died, the baby, not even a year old. And an investigation is underway into the cause of death. Ryan Young with more from Chicago.

RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In the state of Illinois, they are bracing themselves to see what happens next. Of course, Chicago has been picked as a place that could be a potential hotspot in the future.

But just today, state officials have confirmed that there are over 3,000 cases in the state, over 400 new cases in the last 24 hours.

But something that's very concerning that stands out, there has been a child under the age of one that tested positive for the coronavirus that has passed away. They're going to do a full investigation to figure out exactly why this child died. But that's obviously something that healthcare officials will be paying attention to. We also talked to a doctor who worked in the ICU here in the Chicago

area. Dr. Omar Lateef tells us, as of right now, his ICU is making sure that patients are comfortable and being taken care of, but at the same time, he is looking at preparations for what could happen next.


DR. OMAR LATEEF, PRESIDENT AND CEO, RUSH UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER: Regardless of where we are today, the reality is there's an opportunity and a very real potential of running out of ventilators, and that has to do with a net number of patients.

There's a fixed amount of resources in Chicago and while today, there are ICU beds that are available and ventilators that are available, that does not mean tomorrow there will be or the next day there will be.

If there is exponential growth, just like other cities in the world, we will run out of those resources.


YOUNG: Healthcare officials are also concerned about clusters. In fact, one group at a church seems like a group of them have all gotten sick from the coronavirus. There was cases at a local jail, the Cook County Jail where the Sheriff has actually taken the extraordinary step of moving some of those inmates outside of the jail facility to make sure that the coronavirus doesn't spread.

Healthcare officials are also watching that because they want to make sure that it doesn't overwhelm the health care systems around the area if several people were to get sick at the same time.

The other part they're stressing, social distancing, and people staying home. It'd be interesting to see if the streets as clear as they've been for the last few hours.

Reporting in Chicago, Ryan Young, CNN.

HOLMES: And here to discuss more about all of this is Dr. Raj Kalsi. He's an Emergency Medicine physician. Doctor, I really appreciate you taking the time.

You know, I was watching an interview you did here on CNN, I think it was 10 or 11 days ago. You said you were scared. I'm just wondering, has that feeling grown or abated?

DR. RAJ KALSI, BOARD CERTIFIED EMERGENCY MEDICINE PHYSICIAN: It's grown. But we are now, Michael, starting to see the surge, the surge that has been a phenomenon, a concept in the clinical world that is now happening to us.

So we've been watching internationally first, and then we watched the epicenter at New York and now we are starting to experience these patients coming in, and they're coming in more quickly and they're coming in more sick, and they are needing to be either ventilated or they're about to be ventilated.

And the fear that we have is multifactorial, and almost like we talked about the last time I was on, will we have enough equipment? Will we be able to depart from our COVID tunnel vision as doctors and make sure we don't miss other diagnoses which is really important and will we have the staff to be well enough and healthy enough to maintain all of the efforts that we need to give to the community?


HOLMES: Yes, I think a lot of people, you know, it's easy to forget that you guys are busy anyway, normally before all of this with heart attacks and strokes and car accidents and the like.

One thing that you've talked about is the standard procedure when a patient is, I think, in the hospitals, they call it crashing, you know, in immediate risk of dying.

I mean, you've got a team that races in, the crash team to respond. But in this environment, everyone has to stop and gear up and that must take precious time. Right?

KALSI: Absolutely, Michael. You bring up a great point. And this is such a change in paradigm for everything else nurses and doctors and technicians and all healthcare workers are intrinsically designed to do and we are rooted in compassion and the compassion is race into the fire like police officers and firefighters race into the line of fire or the fire itself and the potential injury, we race into that crashing patient.

And the problem is, now we have to take our time. We have to don, meaning apply protective equipment, and that takes time.

We have to coordinate a strategy to quickly assess this patient, intubate them, ventilate them, this concept you're all hearing about, and then limit exposure to my staff and other patients nearby so that we don't infect other people and we maintain the status of our department.

HOLMES: Yes, and don't infect yourselves. I mean, you're the guys who are most needed. I mean, it is interesting, as often happens in times of war as well, the human side can get lost in the sheer numbers.

Try to give us a sense of the emotional toll on workers dealing with what they're dealing with, seeing patients die, perhaps when they wouldn't under different circumstances.

KALSI: Michael, I have the honor of having worked a shift today at one of my bigger institutions. We have 400 beds and I'm honored to work at that institution with amazing people. Just amazing people who I hope are watching now and I'm speaking for them.

And we had to tell two patients, one over the phone, two daughters that their mother was going to be a DNR, and because of this COVID pandemic, we couldn't do more resuscitative efforts. Fortunately, these were amazing family members who did not want their

mother to suffer more. So they allowed me to be compassionate and keep her comfortable. And another patient who was very young, 54 and suffering from cancer, we had to pull back the resuscitative efforts and the family understood and this was a challenge because that one I had to face in the hospital with the family right at my elbow side, and I explain to the patient also who was quite aware and quite mentally aware to process the situation that this is just a terrible time, internationally.

And it's just so unfortunate, Michael to see these patients die alone because when we do declare that they are COVID rule-outs meaning that they could have COVID, they are not able to have family at the bedside unless they are imminently dying because of the risk of like co- infecting all of us or other people.

HOLMES: That is just horrific. I don't know, how you and your team bear that -- the families obviously, but yes, having to tell families but patients too and tell them that.

I mean, they have now been, it's well over 50 doctors in Italy who have died, many other health care professionals as well. I mean, you must have genuine concerns about you, your team, medical workers in general, being taken out and through all of this.

KALSI: So a couple things. One is we are screened as we come into all of the hospitals that I work at to make sure we don't have a cough, a sore throat, shortness of breath or a fever.

The minute we flag one of those, those people are pulled out appropriately. They're pulled out of the game, and the more we lose to those symptoms, whether it's from COVID or some other illness, which is very obviously prevalent, like another type of cold that's not COVID, we lose that support.

And I have three kids. I have a wife who is a nurse and she works at one of the hospitals I work at and we are fighting for our patients, and we need to be around.

I respect so much law enforcement, military, now more than ever. Their commitment to the country. This is -- this is our calling.

HOLMES: Yes, I've got to ask you, I mean, and I'm sure others do as well from time to time or I hope they do. How are you doing?

KALSI: It is hour by hour, Michael, sometimes. I have been doing this 15 years, and I've been through some pretty horrific cases even before this pandemic, certainly nothing to the depths of what's going on internationally.

This is something that's so new and different for all of us as doctors. I have my moments and I have great, great people. I have great administration around me who will let me pause, take time. Let me vent. And let me just decompress and then get back in the game when I'm ready.


KALSI: And I'm honored to be around the nurses and healthcare workers and the doctors that I work with, I truly am.

HOLMES: Are you shocked that in the wealthiest country in the world, that it's in this position, and importantly, that, you know, prior scenario testing, as recently as last year, warned, precisely these issues, these challenges would arise and pretty much nothing happened.

KALSI: You know, I am not a politician, Michael, but I'll tell you that it is amazing in the most amazing country, and I'm so proud to be a part of this country, that we don't have more resources available.

But this is what we have, Michael, and we as healthcare workers, we need optimism now more than anything, and we will get through this. We will all together, get through this and we will get through it only one way and that is together.

Regardless of how this happened and how this came about, we have to move forward. We have to salvage lives. We have to salvage families. We have to salvage emotions. And we need to by, hopefully, July or August come away from this hole.

And I think there is going to be a huge paradigm shift in the field of Medicine, in healthcare after this unlike we've ever seen in a decade or two.

But we need to come out and we need to be here for each other and we have to move forward, Michael.

HOLMES: Well, speaking on behalf of the world, thank you for what you do and you and everyone around you and throughout the world for what you do, bravery above and beyond. Thank you so much, Dr. Raj Kalsi. Thank you.

KALSI: Thank you, Michael, for giving us a voice. Thank you.

HOLMES: Unbelievable. All right. We'll take a break. When we come back coronavirus cases spiking all around the world.

When we return we'll take a look at Britain's sobering milestone and what they're doing to prepare for more cases.

Also Spain's capital, a ghost town as the virus rages. Why one Spanish health official says there are signs of hope at last, ahead.



HOLMES: Welcome back. The British government is preparing for a surge of coronavirus cases, workers in London busy converting London's ExCel Center into an emergency hospital.

On Saturday, the Department of Health reported that more than a thousand people have died from the virus now. The Medical Director of the NHS England, addressing that sobering milestone.


STEPHEN POWIS, MEDICAL DIRECTOR, NHS ENGLAND: I think the Chief Scientific Adviser to the government said recently, if we can keep that below 20,000, we will have done very well in this epidemic.

It's early at the moment and the scientists who are working with government to model what we can expect, of course adjusting their predictions now as we start to see the actuality of the epidemic in the U.K.


HOLMES: Spain remains Europe's second worst hit country after Italy, of course. Zoos, parks, restaurants appear to be completely abandoned now, but officials there are showing cautious optimism.

The Director of Spain's Center for Health Emergency says the disease is stabilizing and his country is approaching the peak of the curve for coronavirus cases. Spain reporting more than 72,000 cases, at least 5,600 deaths.

For the latest from Europe, journalist Al Goodman is in the Spanish capital, Madrid for us. But let's begin with CNN's Salma Abdelaziz in London.

Salma, you know, just talking there about that increase, the largest day on day increase of deaths in the U.K., more than a thousand people now dead from it. What is the government doing to combat this?

SELMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN PRODUCER: It is indeed a very grim milestone, Michael. And you can say at best, the U.K. government's position right now is precarious, and that's because, as you know, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for the coronavirus and is currently in isolation.

The Health Secretary has tested positive and is in isolation. Various other members of the government showing symptoms and in isolation.

So the concern is, how are they going to lead this battle? How are they going to fight off this pandemic, when so many members of the government are themselves suffering from it?

Now, Prime Minister Boris Johnson very much coming out in front of this, he'll be sending letters to each and every household in the U.K. saying, please be patient with us. This is going to get worse before it gets better. Continue the social distancing measures, continue to support the NHS, the National Health Services and let's fight this together.

But a great deal of criticism as well, a leading medical journal publishing that the U.K. was delayed in responding in putting out these measures, saying that they've left the health services wholly unprepared, and that patients will die unnecessarily -- very stark words there. But as you heard from that presser earlier, that the U.K. would do

well if it kept the death toll below 20,000, really this will end up being measured in number of lives lost, Michael, unfortunately, that's the only way we're going to find out how successful the U.K. has been in battling this.

HOLMES: It is just a sobering and horrible to hear a senior health person like that say, boy, if we can keep it under 20,000 we've done good. I mean, that is a horrible thing to have to hear.

Another aspect I know you've been looking that we're seeing around the world, a lot of gratitude for healthcare workers. I know you've been looking into that.

ABDELAZIZ: That's right, Michael and I was at a hospital just Friday one of the only four trauma centers in London and there was really a sense of urgency there.

The healthcare workers wouldn't allow the journalist on site at the hospital. They were trying to minimize exposure. There were new guidelines about who would be allowed in and out of the hospital.

We're hearing of course, reports of people who -- nurses and other medical staff who are lacking the proper PPE, but so far the public message has been we are preparing for this.

And the most important thing is to keep those critical workers, those key workers, those nurses and doctors and staff that will actually be taking care of these patients that will be fighting on the front lines of the pandemic -- the most important thing is to keep them healthy and to keep them safe.

Yesterday, the U.K. announcing that there will be testing measures in place for NHS workers. That of course is to keep them from infecting others, meanwhile, keeping them able to work in these hospitals, the U.K. very much aware of thousands across Europe, thousands of medical workers across Europe who have contracted this virus and really trying to avoid the same fate -- Michael.

HOLMES: All right, good to have you there, Salma, thanks. Salma Abdelaziz.

Let's go across to Madrid where Al Goodman is standing by. Spain is still being hit hard by this a pandemic, but some positive signs. Tell us the latest.

AL GOODMAN, JOURNALIST: Hi, Michael, well, officials are cautiously optimistic that they are going to finally start to flatten this curve.

Now, the city as you mentioned earlier, is basically empty. The streets -- just take a look at this boulevard here. This is right near my house. No one buying a newspaper yet, but they want it to be even emptier.

So the Prime Minister announcing on Saturday night on national TV that the government is going to require all non-essential workers to stay home.

So under the state of emergency, the lockdown that has already been in effect two weeks, it is going on for another two, only people with essential activities were able to go out. You could go to the food store, you could go to work.

Now for instance, construction workers, all of that will stop because they're trying to continue to reduce the movement of people on the streets and in the metros and the buses and on the job sites so that they can lower the new infection rate so that they can lower the pressure on the intensive care units and they can possibly save more lives.

Now, the government is expected to do that in a special Cabinet meeting this morning. Just yesterday, they came out with another measure saying that employers cannot use the coronavirus as an excuse to fire workers. That's a move supported by unions, not by all the businesses.

And these non-essential workers who are now going to be furloughed will get paid and they will have to make up the hours to their companies in the coming -- when this is all over -- Michael.

HOLMES: All right, Al, thanks. Appreciate you being there for us on the spot in Madrid. Al Goodman.

Well, a mayor is describing scenes of horror as Ecuador wrestles with the coronavirus pandemic. Coming up, why it could be a sign of things to come from Latin America? We'll be right back.



HOLMES: Welcome back, everyone. To our viewers in the United States and all around the world, I'm Michael Holmes, you are watching CNN NEWSROOM.

Let's check the headlines for you this hour. President Trump backing off his idea to put parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut under quarantine, instead, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that people refrain from non-essential travel for 14 days. That is very similar to what those states governors had already put in place.

Italy reporting a grim milestone. The country's Civil Protection Agency announcing that the death toll from the coronavirus had crossed the 10,000 mark on Saturday. The country has surpassed China in the number of cases and deaths.

Workers in London busy converting the ExCel center into an emergency hospital. This comes as the U.K. reported its own milestone on Saturday. The Department of Health confirming more than a thousand people have now died from the virus.

China wants the world to know that life is getting back to normal in COVID-19's epicenter. The state media showing that public transportation is coming back online in Wuhan where it all began.

This is only a partial reopen and health checks are still in place, but passengers with face masks are filtering back into the metro system.

In Japan, meanwhile, the virus is pushing the country to the brink of a national emergency. Saturday, Japan reporting its biggest single day jump in cases, nearly 200. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urging people to avoid crowds and limit their outings, so Japan won't have to impose the strict measures seen in Europe. And he's pushing for a massive aid package to help soften the impact on the economy.

CNN's Will Ripley is in Tokyo for us. The Prime Minister says Japan barely hanging on, on the verge of a state of emergency. Is there a sense that you know, in a way they're late to the game in getting serious about this?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A lot of people are certainly asking the question, Michael, why all of this is happening only after the Olympic postponement? It just took a couple of days for all of a sudden Japanese officials started talking about this spike in the number of reported cases.

Then they said they're considering a lockdown for Tokyo, measures that seemed unthinkable just a short time ago and the message may have gotten to some Japanese too late.


RIPLEY (voice over): Huge crowds pack Tokyo's Meguro River for Hanami, the viewing of the cherry blossoms. They gather despite increasingly dire warnings from the Japanese government, warnings coronavirus cases could see a major spike.


KENJI FUMA, RESIDENT: The situation is very, very severe.


RIPLEY (voice over): Kenji Fuma sees the crowds from his apartment window.


RIPLEY (voice over): What do you think when you see all these people outside, some of them not wearing masks close together?

FUMA: Not good. Yes. I feel very worried.


RIPLEY (voice-over): The Japanese government is worried, too. Tokyo Governor, Yuriko Koike calls the situation severe, cooperation critical. She says this may be the Japanese capital's last chance to flatten the

curve. "We would like to see each resident share the sense of crisis," she says, "do what you can to avoid spreading it.

Koike is asking people to stay home, avoid nonessential travel, be vigilant to slow the spread. So far, it's not working.

Despite guidelines to work from home, many offices this week full, public transportation packed. Bars and restaurants open.

This weekend, the city's relaxed mood does seem to be changing. Buena Park's famous cherry blossoms closed, along with many department stores and around 500 Starbucks.

The iconic Shibuya Crossing always packed on Saturday, empty. People preparing for the kind of restrictions on business and travel that other nations imposed weeks or even months ago.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is moving closer to declaring a state of emergency just days after announcing the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be postponed.


RIPLEY (voice over): Infectious Disease experts warn of a steep price in human life if coronavirus spreads rapidly in this rapidly aging society.


DR. MASAHIRO KAMI, MEDICAL GOVERNANCE RESEARCH INSTITUTE: Coronavirus is very dangerous to old people.

RIPLEY: And you have a lot of senior citizens here?

KAMI: Yes, in hospitals and in nursing homes.


RIPLEY (voice-over): Dr. Masahiro Kami is Executive Director of Japan's non-profit Medical Governance Research Institute. He says most coronavirus patients in Japan are likely showing few, if any, symptoms.

Japan claims it can process close to 8,000 tests per day. In reality, they're testing less than one-sixth of that number, averaging around 1,200 tests per day.

The Health Ministry says, as of Friday, just 27,000 people have been tested, 27,000 people in a country of 125 million, leaving many in Japan to wonder how many cases are really out there.


RIPLEY: That really is the big question, Michael, because you think about the fact they've only tested 27,000 people and they now have 2,200 plus cases that is counting the Diamond Princess Cruise ship.

But when you test more, you find more and to get a handle on the outbreak and to get it under control before it spreads out of control, health experts have said repeatedly you need to test and Japan saw this firsthand with the Diamond Princess situation.

Once they started testing everyone on the ship, they found more cases and yet their policy continues to be people have to self-quarantine for four days before they even qualify for a test.

We've gotten reports of hundreds of doctors being refused tests. And a lot of people are asking why? Now especially they're seeing the numbers go up.

HOLMES: Testing, testing, testing. It always comes back to that. The countries that have tested widely and often are the ones that get ahead of it first.

Extraordinary. Will, good to have you there on this story. Will Ripley for us in Tokyo.

A lot of people are worried about Africa and we are getting a better idea of how the virus is spreading through that continent.

The World Health Organization now reporting 2,600 cases and nearly 50 deaths across the continent. But that is certain to be a wild underestimate, more widespread testing is only just becoming available.

The W.H.O.'s Director General says only two of the 47 nations in its Africa region could do testing when the outbreak started.

India reporting its biggest single day jump in cases Saturday. Health officials there say nearly 900 total cases, 19 deaths but also not enough testing there. Preventing the spread of the virus could be a big challenge in India.

As you can see there, thousands of migrant workers trying to leave the big cities because there's no work during the lockdown and could be taking the virus home.

Some local governments arranging for buses to take those standard migrants home.

Now, we told you yesterday here on the program about the dire situation in the City of Guayaquil in Ecuador. They have run out of hospital beds. The clinics are full. We told you they were building mass graves there, and now the mayor is raising a chilling alarm about the growing number of dead bodies.

She said they've been put outside hospitals just left there on sidewalks and abandoned in homes because nobody is picking them up.

Ecuador has reported more than 1,800 cases of coronavirus, more than 40 deaths. A lot of concern about Latin America so far they haven't seen the kind

of infection numbers that Europe, the U.S. and Asia have but there are fears that could soon change.

CNN's Matt Rivers with more from Mexico City.


MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In Latin America, coronavirus cases are spiking, well over 13,000 and counting. That's about ten times higher than it was 12 days ago, as more and more people keep dying.

In Ecuador, government workers were seen fumigating streets as its case total climbs. In one coastal city, government officials removed 100 corpses from different homes in three days, according to Reuters, some who died experiencing symptoms of the virus.

Curfews in place made it difficult for families to get their deceased to funeral homes.

Similar preventative measures have sprung up elsewhere. In Argentina, for example, thousands have been arrested for violating a nationwide curfew. And in Panama, a ban on foreigners entering the country had stranded a cruise ship off of its coast.

Four people have died on the Holland America ship, Zaandam from unknown causes though it's now allowed to transit to Panama Canal on its way to Florida.

Two people aboard have tested positive for the virus, and as of Friday, 138 more are experiencing flu-like symptoms.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They pretty well confirmed along with the news that, yes, we were in a very dire situation. We're hoping that that's the end of death, but there's certainly no guarantee of that.



RIVERS (voice over): One of Latin America's most dire situation is in Brazil. It's thousands of cases and dozens of deaths are the most in the region.

But even as individual cities like Rio de Janeiro have enforced stay- at-home measures emptying its famous beaches, social media accounts that support President Jair Bolsonaro have pushed a video campaign titled, "Brazil Can't Stop," as the President argues preventative measures that could hurt the economy shouldn't be used.

"I'm sorry. Some people will die. They will die. That's life, he says. "You can't stop a car factory because of traffic deaths."




RIVERS (voice over): In Mexico, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had similarly played down the threat for weeks regularly seen mingling with crowds until a few weeks ago. Though his government has taken action more recently, closing businesses and schools, and encouraging people to stay home, it's clear that some aren't listening.

RIVERS (on camera): Restaurants are allowed to be open and the streets are much emptier than usual, but finding people out and about isn't hard to do.

Meanwhile, the number of cases in Mexico has about tripled in the last week.

RIVERS (voice over): We've seen this virus devastate China, then Europe, and now the United States. In Latin America, there are growing fears that this region could be next.

Matt Rivers, CNN, Mexico City.


HOLMES: We're going to take quick break. When we come back another front seems to be emerging in this pandemic, an escalation in domestic abuse cases. When we come back, we'll find out what French authorities are doing about it. You're watching CNN.


HOLMES: Welcome back. The United Nations is warning that domestic violence is likely to increase as more countries issue lockdown orders.

Cases in France, for example, have already spiked by more than a third and women are children living with abuse have few ways to escape in the quarantine.

CNN's Melissa Bell looks at the problem and what French authorities are doing about it.



MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): From above Paris couldn't look more peaceful, but for some, France's stay-at-home order could prove anything but.

Behind the doors closed by the country's confinement measures, domestic violence is up with the Interior Minister reporting a 36 percent rise in police interventions in Paris in just one week. The figure came from Christophe Castaner who announced on Thursday, a

new system where women can raise the alarm in pharmacies, one of the few places open, with pharmacists told to act as a relay with the police.

The government also points to the hotline women can call if they feel they're in danger, a hotline that existed before the outbreak.

BELL (on camera): That line is advertised as being open from Monday until Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. We had to make a dozen attempts over the course of several hours this Saturday to get through.

BELL (voice over): French government figures released before the coronavirus pandemic show one woman is killed every three days at the hands of a partner or ex-partner.


HILLARY MARGOLIS, SENIOR RESEARCHER, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: There are cases of course where women were already experiencing abuse and perhaps now feel completely trapped with their abuser.

In other cases, there can be new instances of abuse that only emerge during a crisis like this.


BELL (voice over): So will France's measure help women who are both more likely to be in greater danger and feeling more cut off from help?


CAROLINE DE HAAS, NOUS TOUTES WOMEN RIGHTS GROUP: They try to stay at home during the first week of concealment and one time, one day she will say okay, it's enough I have to leave to save my life and then we will have a problem because we have not enough place in shelters.


BELL (voice over): Even before the pandemic groups Nous Toutes were warning, the domestic violence was an underreported problem.

The fear is now that with doors even more firmly shut, it only gets worse.

Melissa Bell, CNN, Paris.


HOLMES: Now even during a global pandemic, love can find a way. Next, the "stupid things" a young man had to do to get a happy ending. We'll be right back.


HOLMES: Welcome back. Love will make you do the most desperate of things even in a pandemic, even if you're an ocean apart.

A Canadian-Egyptian man just couldn't wait to see his Italian-American love who is studying in Quebec in Canada, especially since he was about to propose to her.

Many airports were closing down so he had to -- he blew thousands on a plane ticket, had temperature checks just to get out of Cairo and back to his fiancee.

He says, "Stay in Cairo with family or catch the last flight to Canada to be with my love. As COVID-19 began to spread across the globe." He says, "I believe nowhere was safe and self-isolation was the best course of action. Still, love will make you do stupid things."

Eihab Boraie joins me now from Quebec City to talk about this amazing journey. First of all, how difficult was it to leave your family behind?

I read your article, I mean, that moment of saying goodbye to them at the airport, what's going through your mind?

EIHAB BORAIE, PROPOSED TO GIRLFRIEND AMID CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC: Well, everything happened really quickly. I mean, I didn't -- I was pretty much set that I was going to be quarantined in Egypt for a while.

And so, you know, when I did get that ticket, just hours before the flight, I was kind of just rushing to get everything prepared. And in the back of my mind, the whole time was that thought, you know, my parents are both old and they both have health complications, so it was it was very difficult.

I felt tormented by the decision for weeks just leading up to it, but like I was saying, I didn't really think it would happen. So --

HOLMES: I mean, we're watching video that you took on your journey and the empty airports and so on, and you also write just by the way that you weren't tested at all, no temperature checks, even when you got the Canada.

I mean, how worried were you about, you know, COVID-19 during your journey?

BORAIE: Oh, I was very worried about it. I mean, I don't recommend anyone travel at this point of time, and I know that what I did was kind of silly because the best strategy here is to stay home, stay isolated.

Like I said, when I went to the airport, I tried to take every precaution I could. And even that week, you were seeing airports on the news in Chicago, and they were crowded, and it was super frightening and I thought I was going to get in that situation.


BORAIE: But, it was completely surreal to show up to the airport and find that we're like the only flight checking in at the time and there was no one really around in the airports.

HOLMES: When you arrived and you're there. When it came to the proposal, you didn't waste any time did you?

BORAIE: Well, I didn't think we had time to waste, right? I mean, I'm potentially exposing my fiancee to a very scary virus. I didn't know how much time we would have. But I didn't want to waste any time. And I wanted to know -- I wanted her to know, not only that I loved her, but that I was willing to commit myself to her. Especially if that meant, you know, we were putting ourselves both at risk at the time, so I didn't waste any time.

HOLMES: They're great photos. We're looking at them right now. And the two of you, what are the wedding plans and how do you plan a wedding at a time like this?

BORAIE: Well, I mean, we're not looking to plan the wedding in this moment. What we -- what we wanted to do right from the get go is she is from an island in Italy called Giglio.

I've been there. It's beautiful. And it only seems fitting that one of the reasons I was moving in the first place to her was because her family was stuck in Italy and we'd heard the devastation that we didn't want to take any chances.

We wanted to get together as soon as possible before these lockdowns happened, so as soon as it's safe to travel again, we will definitely be heading over to Italy and having our wedding in Giglio.


HOLMES: How does it feel right now? You got the ring on the finger? You're together? Feel good?

BORAIE: I mean, yes. I know, it feels great. I was again, she was alone here in Quebec City and I felt that this isn't a thing that's going to last for a couple weeks. We're talking about months possibly, and so being together, even if we're quarantined, it's definitely something.

Both of us are very happy to have each other during this period of time because it's difficult. And I know, couples all around the world are kind of dealing with that, whether it's safe to even be together or not.


BORAIE: And so far, you know, a weekend we don't have any symptoms, so hopefully it stays that way. And we made the right choice, even though it might have been a silly one.

HOLMES: Well, not a silly one. Love conquers all. I am very happy for you and appreciate you sharing the story. Eihab Boraie in Quebec City, thank you so much.

BORAIE: Well, thank you, Michael. Stay safe.

HOLMES: Thanks for watching CNN NEWSROOM, spending part of your day with us, I am Michael Holmes and I will be back with more news after the break.


HOLMES: Hello and welcome to our viewers here in the United States, and indeed all around the world. I'm Michael Holmes and coming up here on CNN NEWSROOM, the death toll from coronavirus in the U.S. doubles in just over two days while --