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War Zone Scene in New York Hospitals; President Trump Extends the Stay-at-Home Order; Indian Migrant Workers Sprayed with Disinfectant; Britain to Brace for the Next Wave; Coronavirus Pandemic; India's Government Pledges $23 Billion In Stimulus Package; Coronavirus Kills Entire Family; European Union Bands Together To Help Hardest-Hit Countries; Sweden Takes Own Approach To Combat Outbreak; Dubai Expo 2020 Likely To Be Postponed; President Trump And President Putin Discuss Oil Amid Price Crunch; Macy's, Kohl's, And Gap Furlough Thousands Of Employees; U.S. Stocks Tracking Worst Quarter Since 1987; Horse Racing Continues In Hong Kong Despite Coronavirus; The Heroes Next Door. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired March 31, 2020 - 03:00   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. You are watching CNN Newsroom. And I'm Rosemary Church.

Just ahead.


ARABIA MOLLETTE, E.R. DOCTOR, BROOKDALE HOSPITAL: This is a war zone, it's a medical war zone. We're trying to keep our head above water and not drown.


CHURCH: You can't see this anywhere else. In a CNN exclusive we take you into America's war on the coronavirus in its biggest city.

Then workers in India sprayed down with a chemical disinfectant as they go back home. They'll look at the outrage that's following.

And a very different tale, children playing in the park, people kicking back at restaurants, why is Sweden so relax? That's all ahead this hour.

And we begin with a single deadliest day yet for coronavirus patients here in the United States. At least 574 people died on Monday alone, bringing the total U.S. death toll to over 3,000.

According to White House task force coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx, even if the U.S. did everything almost perfectly, the virus could kill between 100,000 and 200,000 people. President Trump is extending stay at home guidelines until at least

the end of April, and now the White House may recommend masks for anyone out in public.

Well, New York remains the hardest hit U.S. state, and nearly 1,300 people have died there from the coronavirus. And New York's governor is asking the rest of the country for help to get through this crisis.

CNN's Erica Hill has that report.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT: Help arriving in New York with the navy hospital ship Comfort. A thousand beds onboard to help ease overcrowding in the city's hospitals. In Central Park, a new field hospital reserved for those with the virus, as the governor pleads for more help.


GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): If you don't have health care crisis in your community, please come help us in New York now. We need relief, we need relief for nurses who are working 12-hour shifts, one after the other after the other. We need relief for doctors, we need relief for attendants, and we will return the favor.


HILL: Health care workers may be welcome, yet from New England to Texas officials are increasingly wary of travelers mandating self- quarantine for those crossing state lines. Hotspots like Chicago, Detroit, and New Orleans continue to see a spike in cases and are sounding the alarm.


ROBERT HART, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, OCHSNER HEALTH: We are adding 50 patients a day into our hospitals. And many of those are in critical care.


HILL: Those on the front lines are facing new challenges to providing care and comfort.


ANTHONY ALMOJERA, EMS LIEUTENANT-PARAMEDIC, FDNY: When he realizes that his wife had passed away, and we work to our end, did everything we could and then afterwards I went to tell him and normally I would put my arm around him --


ALMOJERA: -- but this time around I have to keep distance. For the first time in my 17-year career I went back inside into the truck and I cried.


HILL: The numbers are also rising among first responders. Nearly a thousand positive cases at the NYPD. Five employees have died. And despite repeated calls to stay home, some Americans continue to put others at risk.


BILLY NUNGESSER, LOUISIANA LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR: We've got a pastor here outside of Baton Rouge driving around picking up people to go to church. Until people heed this warning, we're not going to get on top of it.


HILL: The nation's top infectious disease expert warns this virus is coming.


ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: There are a number of areas in the country have relatively few cases, those are the ones that are vulnerable and dangerous, those are timbers that can turn into big fires.


HILL: Fires that spread with alarming speed.


CUOMO: We've been behind this virus from day one. You have the scientists and the data projections showing you a curve. The curve goes like this you're over here. Prepare for the high point of the curve and do it now.



CHURCH: And as we just saw, the USNS Comfort docking in New York to help during the coronavirus pandemic. But after derive so you saw that large crowd gathered to see it to watch, violating all sorts of social distancing guidelines.

The took these photos of New Yorkers standing around in close proximity without masks, gloves or any other protective agreement despite a stay-at-home order in place. The governor's office slammed their behavior saying, this should not a spectacle.

Well, the top American experts on infectious diseases believes the U.S. will be hit with a second outbreak later this year. At a White House briefing Dr. Anthony Fauci said the virus could return in the fall after fading away over the summer.

Sarah Hardison is a vaccine expert working with the science group Clarivate Analytics and she joins me now from near Cambridge in England. Thank you so much for talking with us.


CHURCH: So, let's start with a possible vaccine because that is your area of expertise. And pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson plans to begin a clinical trial of its vaccine by September. With the aim of making the first batches available early next year for emergency use.

Now that's less than a year away but U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci says he would anticipate a vaccine being available in a year or 18 months for emergency use. Very different time frames there, what's your response?

HARDISON: I mean, it's all a moving target right now. The FDA and other regulatory agencies around the world are doing the best they can to accelerate clinical trials. They are issuing new guidelines all the time to speed up the process of initiating clinical trials.

They are giving priority to COVID-19 related trials. They are taking full advantage of existing accelerated pathways such as adaptive trial designs.

There is a trial ongoing with the University of Oxford that has utilized the adaptive trial design which allows them to change dosing during the course of the design of the trial and maybe even potentially the different molecules that they using as they see something more effective and some less effective.

The EMA is offering free scientific advice to help design trials to go look in your protocol design and help you design a trial that collects the right kind of evidence to be safe in applications.

So, the regulatory authorities are doing what they can to speed up the process. It is a moving target and we just have to see. The emergency and compassionate use programs will certainly allow us to get these things into patients faster.

CHURCH: And because we're dealing with the pandemic here everyone wants to see progress on this. And I want to see it quickly understandably. But I wanted to ask you this.

Because we heard from the U.S. coronavirus task force Monday that even if we do everything we're currently being told to do in the United States, social distancing staying at home, the death toll could still be as high as 200,000. So, what more should and could the U.S. and of course, other countries be doing to try to flatten that curve?

HARDISON: I mean, I think that we are engaging in the best things that we possibly can. Social distancing is going to be very critical to this effort, and it will save lives.

If at risk populations stay home, that's not enough, everyone needs to stay home because the virus can be carried by what we called asymptomatic carriers. So, you could be carrying the virus, have been infective with it, but you have no symptoms, but you're still able to transmit.

So, for this reason, it's very important that everyone socially distance and maintain good hygiene, handwashing, the use of hand sanitizers, if you have them that use an antiseptic wipe.

The things that's really important to remember about the virus from a biological perspective is that is can develop with a coat protein that's made of (Inaudible) that is easily dissolved by soap, detergent.

CHURCH: Right. Right

HARDISON: And so, handwashing is the number one effective thing that you can do.

CHURCH: And what's your position on wearing masks? Because we are being guided in the United States not to do so, presumably because then we would be taken them away from our medical professionals, but now there's been discussion that could very well change. What's your position on face masks for the public?

HARDISON: A mask -- for the public a mask will give you a sense of safety, and it will certainly do things like prevent you from touching your face which we know is an area of access for the virus to enter your body through your nose, through your mouth, and through your ears.

So, that face masks will help you prevent touching your face which would help prevent transmission, but it will not prevent you from getting the virus. It doesn't protect you completely.

CHURCH: They could -- they could put up somewhat of a barrier, you're saying, right?

HARDISON: It would prevent you from touching your face, but the masks unless you get an N95 mask, wear something with the help of a doctor, won't filter out the virus.


So as the mask absorbs moisture from the air, it could still let the virus through.

CHURCH: Right. And the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S. has just approved the coronavirus test that can provide results within minutes rather than days. And the FDA has also given an emergency approval to a plan to distribute millions of doses of anti- malarial drugs.

Clearly, a faster test would be an enormous breakthrough, but what's your reaction to these antimalarial drugs being touted as a cure by President Trump. Do you think it could be the answer for some?

HARDISON: well, if you look at the scientific evidence, chloroquine was made in the 1950s and it's a very strong antiparasitic, antimalarial and there is evidence to suggest in vitriol that it is antiviral.

But animal studies and populational studies in humans against influenza have not demonstrated efficacy. That doesn't mean that it won't be efficacious against coronavirus, but I think that people need to maintain expectations on that until the clinical trials are done.

CHURCH: And I do want to ask you this, too. Because in the U.S. doctors and nurses are begging for personal protective equipment and ventilators. They are right across the world. One doctor even finding a way to attach multiple patients to one ventilator.

And yet, we hear a very rosy outlook from President Trump about large quantities of PPE and ventilators being sent out to various hospitals. What do you make of that disconnect? It's very difficult to know what's going on here.

HARDISON: I'm not in the manufacturing industry, so I really can't speak to that. It is very important that we equipped our frontline with the right protective equipment that they need.

CHURCH: All right. Sarah Hardison, thank you so much for joining us. We do appreciate you sharing your expertise on these matters.

HARDISON: My pleasure.

CHURCH: Well for more on the Trump administration's response efforts you, can head over to There we fact checked some of the president's misleading claims about the pandemic including using antimalarial drugs to treat the virus.

Well now nearly half of America's deaths are in New York, it's well over 1,000 right now. Earlier, a doctor on the frontlines told my colleague Don Lemon exactly what all of us can do to help keep the numbers as low as possible. Take a listen.


CORNELIA GRIGGS, PEDIATRIC SURGERY FELLOW, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: It feels like coronavirus is everywhere. And it feels like we have very little to protect us from getting sick ourselves as health care workers.

But we are all trained and dedicated to the mission of saving lives, as many lives as we possibly can. And I want everyone at home to know that even though it feels like staying indoors and staying home and isolating yourself is futile, it's not. We need everyone at home to hold the line. Stay at home, buy us time. Flatten the curve.

Even though what you are seeing from our emergency rooms may look and feel apocalyptic, we are not failing.


CHURCH: Some very important advice there. And because this virus is so contagious and move so quickly, it's been challenging to show you firsthand what health care workers are really up against. Now though CNN has an exclusive look inside one hospital in Brooklyn

New York at the heart of America's pandemic.

Miguel Marquez has our report.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Every corridor, every corner, every ward, every inch of Brookdale Medical Center in Brooklyn now inundated with those suffering from COVID-19.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you looking at on a daily basis? What are you looking at?

MOLLETTE: Well, this is a war zone, it's a medical war zone. Every day I come in what I see on a daily basis is pain, despair, suffering and health care disparities.


MARQUEZ: Through Sunday afternoon, Brookdale said it had at least 100 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with nearly 80 awaiting confirmation. More than 20 people have died so far from the disease on top of its normal emergency flow, coronavirus is pushing the hospital to the max.


MOLLETTE: We are scared to. We're fighting for your lives and we're fighting for our own lives. We're trying to keep our head above water and not drown.


MARQUEZ: Doctors, nurses, even those keeping the floors clean, they say rising tide, uncertain how long it will rise, unsure this coronavirus won't sicken them as they struggle to stay a step ahead.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you need right now?

MOLLETTE: We need prayer, we need support. We need gowns, we need gloves, we need masks, we need more vents. We need more medical space. We need cycle social support as well.


It's not easy coming here when you know that what you begin and you're facing.


MARQUEZ: The death keeps coming. While filming, another victim of COVID-19 was moved to the hospital's temporary morgue, a refrigerated semi-trailer park outback. The hospital's regular morgue filled to capacity. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARQUEZ: How much room do you have in your morgue?

KHARI EDWARDS, V.P., EXTERNAL AFFAIRS, BROOKDALE HOSPITAL: Usually, we have around 20 plus bodies that we can fit comfortably.

MARQUEZ: And you've gone over that?

EDWARDS: Gone over that, and they've -- the state has been gracious enough to bring us apparatus to help keep families and keep the bodies in comfortable areas because we do not want bodies piled on top of each other.


MARQUEZ: Brookdale needs more of everything. Today, Edwards said the hospital has 370 beds. They'd like to add more, many more. To weeks ago, this was the pediatric emergency room. Now, it's dedicated to victims of COVID-19. Plastic tarp taped to the ceiling, offering some protection and a bit of privacy.

The intensive care unit filled nearly to capacity and sealed so fewer doors and less traffic than usual comes and goes. This window is the only place where family members can watch their loved ones inside the unit as they chat with him via cell phone.

It's sometimes as close as they can get as COVID-19 takes another life. As grim as it is now, Dr. Mollette expects it will get worse.


MOLLETTE: It could end in the fall. It could end at the end of the year. But this is why we're begging everyone not just only put the pressure on the emergency department, but also for everybody to help us to help them by staying home.

MARQUEZ: You've been wearing it for the long haul?


MARQUEZ: This is months, not weeks.

MOLLETTE: Definitely.


MARQUEZ: Another worrisome thing she's saying coming through the doors not just the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.


MOLLETTE: I work at two hospitals, so I work here in Brooklyn, and then I work at another hospital in the Bronx, and it's the same thing. And the south Bronx, it's the same thing. I've have patients who are in their 30s and they are now intubated and they are really sick. I've had patients that are well --


MARQUEZ: No underlying conditions?

MOLLETTE: No underlying conditions. So, the difference between life and death as far as this coronavirus is that this virus sees no difference. It has nothing to do with age, has nothing with lack of access to health care, has nothing to do with socioeconomic, race, or ethnicity. This virus is killing a lot of people.


MARQUEZ: Brookdale has one advantage. Hospital officials says it can do rapid testing for coronavirus on site. Its own lab right now up to 300 tests a day. They hope to get to 500 a day.


ANDREI LEGOUN, LAB TECHNICIAN, BROOKDALE HOSPITAL: And right we have about 52 specimens in here. We are about to -- that we're preparing to test at the moment.


MARQUEZ: The hospital following Centers for Disease Control guidelines on who gets coveted tests. Patients admitted for possible coronavirus, health care workers showing symptoms, and the symptomatic long-term patients. Each test a laborious and time-consuming process.


LEGOUN: It's very easy to make a mistake. Very easy, just from an extra millimeter of re-agent, adding to the machine can mess up the entire batch, entire batch. All the 52 specimens we would have to start all over from the beginning.


MARQUEZ: E.R. doctors are used to stress. Dr. Mollette says she has never experienced anything like this.


MOLLETTE: I don't really sleep that well at night. I worry about my family, I worry about my safety, I worry about my colleagues, I worry about how the shift is going to be the next time I come. I worry about if a family member is going to come and be a patient as well, a fall victim to the coronavirus. I worry about a lot of things.


MARQUEZ: The disease, a marathon that health care workers alone cannot win or even finish.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MOLLETTE: It's not up to just only to the emergency departments to pull through to make sure the curve is flattened. This is a responsibility for everybody in the country to help us pull through.

MARQUEZ: So, stay the f-home?

MOLLETTE: Exactly. I'm very --


MARQUEZ: Is that literally -- I mean, how --

MOLLETTE: No. Stay the f-home, exactly. Exactly. Because it's not just on -- it's not just us that has to help flatten the curve and take care of everybody. Help us help you.


MARQUEZ: She says it will take everyone pulling together. The worst days, she fears are still ahead.

Miguel Marquez, CNN, Brooklyn, New York.

CHURCH: So, a sobering reality check there showing what our doctors are facing on the front line. And even on the face of fear health care workers are staying on the front line to protect as many people as they can.

A group of almost 30 workers boarded a flight from Atlanta to New York to help the city overwhelmed by the virus. Southwest Airlines says they were in good spirits and wanted to do their part for those in need. Incredible. We salute them.


And staffers at New York's Empire State Building are also showing support in their own way. The lights at the top of the building have been turned into a white and red siren to honor emergency workers fighting the virus. The siren lights will replace the building signature white lights through the rest of the city's battle against this pandemic.

Well, Britain is bracing for the peak of the coronavirus outbreak. We are live in London with what the nation is doing to prepare.

Back in a moment.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone.

Well, Britain is bracing for the coronavirus outbreak to hit its peak in the coming days even as the spread there is showing signs of slowing. The chief science adviser says the worst is not over.

Meanwhile, both the prime minister and his chief medical officer continue to self-isolate after testing positive for COVID-19. And there is a shortage of vital medical equipment as there is of course everywhere.

So, let's go live to London for the latest from CNN international security editor Nick Paton Walsh.

So, Nick, Britain's government was roundly criticized in the initial stages of this pandemic. How ready is the U.K. as this peak approaches?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: I think facing the same challenges as every other nation here. Behind me is that bid to project readiness, a 4,000-capacity conference and to turn in a week almost into a hospital could be opening in the days ahead to deal with the overflow from London.

But this is a country with one exception, that its leader, its prime minister, is the only world leader who has tested positive at this point, and many of his key advisers are also in the same boat.

Their figures coming out often suggesting maybe it won't be as bad in the U.K. as the worse predictions, but also great uncertainty dogs all of that as we head into the next week, which will most likely see the virus peak here in the capital.

London maybe a week from the worst, the sprawling pop-up hospital on the banks of the Thames due to have 4,000 beds is part of a message of readiness. But elsewhere, some doctors feel far from ready.

George Zumbadze is one working this weekend in an urgent walk-in healthcare center. U.K. guidelines told him to wear this. But these were images from Italy and wanted extra protection and bought this in a hardware store.


GEORGE ZUMBADZE, DOCTOR: This family that I saw have two kids, so, you know, we made a little bit of fun to say look I'm looking like a little bit astronaut, and I said, well, let's go to fly. So, you know, if you want to save, do this to (Inaudible).



WALSH: But the healthcare center told not to wear the extra gear because they have to obey guidelines. So, he's had to stop going to help in the center not just to protect him, he doesn't want to spread the infection to other patients.


ZUMBADZE: We want to help, that's what we do, that's what we're trained to do. And just walk out kind of program is in our head, but at the same time, we also, you know, we know that we shouldn't harm to others. So, I feel very uncomfortable for myself and also for people that I will see one to the other because I feel I might pass the virus in that particular moment, but there's a possibility I could transfer the infection from one person to another person.


WALSH: A doctor support group said Monday many have reported having to get their own PPE. The healthcare center in question said staff safety is nonnegotiable, and a doctor recently left their ship after refusing to use appropriate PPE. The government has pledge nationwide PPE deliveries.


ROBERT JENRICK, BRITISH SECRETARY FOR HOUSING, COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT: To NHS and social care workers, all those who rely on this equipment, and to their families, and loved ones watching this afternoon, we understand. And we will not stop until we have got you the equipment that you need.


WALSH: Grave uncertainty, just as the peak nears in London.

One NHS manager I spoke to in London said they haven't had enough access to detailed national modelling about the virus spread and it had to try and do their own. Now that put the virus peaking here in London in the week beginning the 6th of April and worsening in the week beginning April the 13th.

And in each of those weeks they're concern that just in their district alone they could be short several hundred intensive care beds. London it seems will be hit first and possibly hardest.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, London.

So it is behind me here that the overflow will end up in the days ahead and we may possibly hear in the United Kingdom here greater clarity on the number of deaths that have occurred in the country.

The current government count is the number of people who have died after testing positive for coronavirus. Now there are very exacting circumstances where you can get some of the limited tests here in United Kingdom.

And later on today we may see from the statistical government body here accounts of accumulative number of people nationwide who have died delayed slightly as a number, but possibly a truer picture that maybe shocking or comforting, and like all the numbers frankly, the government get to produce come to the great heap of uncertainty here as science here desperately tries to catch up with the reality of the virus' spread. Rosemary?

CHURCH: Yes, you're absolutely right. Nick Paton Walsh bringing us the very latest from London, many thanks to you. Well, India is reporting its biggest one-day spike in coronavirus

cases, with 227 on Monday. Despite having just over 1,200 reported cases, and already one week into a nationwide lockdown, experts are warning the virus could explode in the country. As many unemployed migrant workers make their way home on mass.

CNN's Sam Kiley has our report.

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Migrant workers doused with a solution of bleach on arrival in India's state of Uttar Pradesh. National authorities said that the disinfection of travelers like this was overzealous.

But it reflects widespread fears that the mass movement of hundreds of thousands of Indian migrant workers back home during a three-week national lockdown could spread the disease quickly across a nation of 1.3 billion people.


NARESH TREHAN, CHAIRMAN & MANAGING DIRECTOR, MEDANTA HOSPITAL: Now they're all packed together like they're like sardines. And the infection, if it is there, which most likely there is, will spread like wildfire. And then it will be impossible to control.


KILEY: India has a relatively low number of known infections. The national lockdown is intended to slow virus contamination, but it also means instant unemployment for vast numbers.

"Whatever food was left, we ate it, and now we have no way going forward here that's why I'm going back home," says Zafar Abas (Ph), a bag maker who is leaving Delhi. He went on, "if I go back to my village, we have access to government hospitals there, so if any of us fall sick we can be treated."

In poor rural areas, locals are doing what they can to combat the virus. Dousing village streets with turmeric water, a natural disinfectant, and self-isolating from crowded homes. In trees.

India's government has pledged $23 billion in a stimulus package for the virus-sickened academy.



Some trains are being turn into coronavirus wards. But markets still team with people. Millions of whom live crammed in slums, already frequently hit by epidemics of cholera and other diseases. Police have resorted to uncommon punishment sometimes to enforce the lockdown.

This officer, wearing a helmet modeled on the coronavirus, has try to charm people off the streets. But whether by brick bat or bouquet, beating the spread of the deadly virus will be impossible amid scenes like this, where workers struggle unto buses and spread out across the nation. Sam Kiley, CNN.


ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Well, many of those who have lost loved ones to this virus, are dealing with heartbreak, but one family in Italy has suffered a particularly cruel twist of fate. We are back with that in just a moment.


CHURCH: Welcome back everyone, I'm Rosemary Church with a quick recap of our top story this hour, the United States has reported its biggest spike in coronavirus fatalities, pushing the nationwide death toll past 3,000. In New York authorities have opened a field hospital in Central Park to deal with the surging cases.

Still experts warn that even if the country response perfectly to the pandemic, it could still see as many as 200,000 deaths. President Trump is now extending stay at home guidelines, until at least the end of April. Soon the White House could recommend masks, for anyone out in public.

With no end in sight to this pandemic, the European Union is finally banding together. Fred Pleitgen has our report on that.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A German medivac plane on a mission to help ease the stress on Italy's collapsing medical system, as ambulances stand ready to bring six urgent care patients to hospitals, the crew says transporting coronavirus patients brings a whole set of challenges.

We have to make sure that the patients remain in stable condition, the medic says. The flight is additional stress for them. So during the entire flight we need to assure that their condition does not deteriorate.

After a slow start, E.U. countries are accelerating their help for the members state hardest hit by the outbreak. France also sending dozens of intensive care patient to Germany, where around half the country's ICU capacities remains vacant.


This after Europeans saw mostly countries like Russia, China, and even Cuba step in to provide medical assistant to countries in need. Some European leaders especially from countries hard hit by the outbreak have criticized what they saw as too little solidarity in the union.

Italy for instance earlier on has slammed Europe for not responding to pleas for medical equipment. And even the head of the European commission called for stronger, more concerted action.


really needed and all for one spirit, to many initially gave only for me response. And when Europe really needed to prove that this is not only a fair weather union, too many initially refused to share their umbrella.


PLEITGEN: On the medical side of things E.U. members are now stepping up their efforts, but deep divisions remain on sharing the financial burden the crisis is already unleashing. Several hard-hit countries calling for shared European bonds, so-called corona bonds, while countries like Germany, Austria, The Netherlands and Finland reject the idea, fearing they would be on the hook for other nations deaths. The disagreement threatening to tear the E.U. apart, some warn.

I hope everyone fully understands, before it's too late, the seriousness of the threat faced by Europe, Italy's president says. Solidarity is not only required by the values of the union, but it also in the common interests.

And while European politicians struggle to find common ground to deal with the virus' economic fallout, medical workers, soldiers and many ordinary citizens are showing their solidarity. Another German air force plane touching down, this time in France, ready to fly more patients to Germany, helping to ease the strain brought on by the coronavirus epidemic. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Berlin.


CHURCH: And Italy is now extending its virus restrictions until at least April 12th, Easter Sunday with the country's death toll now moving well past 11,000. And that grim figure, includes an entire family from northern Italy. The Bertucci's, the father Alfredo, was a blacksmith, so was his son Claudio, their family of four all died in less than a week.

And Barbie Nadeau is covering this devastating story. She joins us now live from Rome. And Barbie, of course, many of the story of personal loss are heartbreaking, but this one that took the lives of an entire family, it's truly tragic. What are you learning about this?

BARBIE LATZA NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you know, it is tragic and you have got over 11,500 deaths here, all these people essentially died alone, their families are notable to bury them with a funeral. Those has been outlawed in this country since March 10th. And you know, that tragedy; that personal tragedy just makes the entire situation so much worse for the population.

We have been on lockdown, 60 million people since March 10th, and we are starting to see some of the effects of that in terms of the slow, the contagion. That's what the experts are saying, five days now, were haven't seen the spike in new cases, but there is still a long way to go before we are clear from this the effects of this pandemic here in Italy. Rosemary. CHURCH: Yes. And I want to talk to you about that because there is a

little unrest as a result of that lockdown, isn't there? Because of the economic circumstances that has put so many people under. We've seen it across the world, but Italy particularly because this lockdown has lasted so long.

NADEAU: That's right. And you know the bulk of the cases remain in the north of the country, but the lockdown affects everyone. And you know, were the people (inaudible) have bills to pay, rent to pay and their missing that first pay check. We've seen reports of looting and break-ins of grocery stores. We've seen reports of shoplifting, the experts warn the organize crime syndicate All right about, you know, ready to exploit the situation as well.

So, it's going to be complicated for seven weeks and maybe even months ahead as you know, as the country locks down and it has to eventually slowly unlock. And we don't know what's that going to look like. But people are getting desperate, frustrated angry and are still very, very afraid, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Yes, totally understandable. I mean, this is global experience, everyone knows what exactly is in front of them. And Italy has offered an unfortunate picture into many countries future. Possibly the United States included. Barbie Nadeau, many thanks to you, joining us live from Rome, I appreciate it.

Well, as most of European countries impose strict regulations to fight the spread of the coronavirus, one country is taking a markedly different approach. Bianca Nobilo explains why Sweden appears to be staying mostly open for business.


BIANCA NOBILO, CNN PRODUCER: The usually guzzling streets of Copenhagen are largely deserted. As Denmark's capital resembles many European cities on lockdown. But in a country just eight kilometers away. The scene is very different. In the Swedish city of (inaudible), life appears to be carrying on almost as normal.

We still have a lot to do, says this hair salon owner. Their some clients have cancelled, appointments had been fully booked at least one day this week. A salon is among the shops, restaurants and bars across Sweden remaining open for business, as the country takes its own approach pf the coronavirus pandemic.

Children are still attending class as primary schools stays open in most of the country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I guess the Swedish government see other possibilities. The school is a very important functions of society.

NOBILO: Sweden has some of the fewest limits on social movement on any European country. Containment there is largely based on voluntary action as the government adopts or wait and see attitude.

The public health agency leader epidemiologist says a public quarantine would do more harm than good. And new cases may level out if the public follows its advised on social distancing. So far, rates of coronavirus cases in Sweden appear to be keeping pace with neighboring Denmark and Norway.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There might be a difference since the disaster we might have which is some sort of genetic disposition the social distancing in our society in any (inaudible). We are not that dense a society in terms of social context under normal circumstances.

NOBILO: The Swedish approach is not without controversy however, some experts are accusing the government of not doing enough to fight covid-19, but officials say they are not ruling out stricter measures in the future. Meanwhile, the country prepares for the inevitable, as the military constructs a hospital for future coronavirus patients. Bianca Nobilo, CNN, London.


CHURCH: And coming up, it was meant to connect minds and create the future, but Dubai's world expo may now be on hold. We will have a live report on that in just a moment.


CHURCH: Well the world expo due to be hosted in Dubai later this year, may now be postponed of the coronavirus concerns, it's steering committee recommending a one-year delay. CNN's John Defterios joins us now live from Abu Dhabi, just a short drive away from Dubai. Good to see you, John. So, this was going to be the first world expo ever hosted in the Middle East, how reliant was this decision on the one made by the IOC in Japan to postpone the summer Olympic Games.


JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Well, I think once the IOC the Olympic committee, decided to delay the summer games, it only seemed logical to do the same, and in fact the chatter I had before this decision was made is that, they were waiting for Japan to delay the games by year, so it's postponement, this is a big deal because it's the first one in the Middle East, as you suggesting, Rosemary, and the minister in charge of this portfolio, Reem Ebrahim Al-Hashimi, who is also the director general of the expo said, this expo will be welcomed more than ever after the coronavirus. It's hard on our minds to think that there's going to be an end to this, as we sit here right now.

And there's quite a bit invested, there is a whole new section of divide by itself, plus a new airport adjacent to it. So, they're hoping for payback, and (inaudible) would suggesting the consultancy can see $33 billion overtime and the creation of a million jobs. So if there's a silver lining for this postponement, I would say for Dubai expo and for the summer games, it's avoiding global likely be the deepest recession in our generation, Rosemary, as a result of the coronavirus.

CHURCH: Yes. I think you are right and since you are our oil expert. Overnight, President Trump and President Putin held talks on oil, which hit a fresh 18 year loan Monday. Has the coronavirus stifled anyone's ability to rebalance the market, do you think?

DEFTERIOS: That's a great way of putting it. By the way, because we are swimming in oil, it's about a billion barrels of surplus supplies right now, and that's right near a record, and in fact ramping up the first quarter, and prices have had their worst on record for the quarter down 65 percent.

We have stabilized today, we can see the U.S. benchmark moving up quite substantially after breaking $20 a barrel. This boils down to the big three, when it comes to the geopolitics. Saudi Arabia, Russia and United States. Russia and United States are talking, they want to have a dialog to see if they can provide at least some support to the oil markets. Saudi Arabia saying they're going to export even more starting in April, up to 10.6 million barrels a day. The problem is, Rosemary, our demand has dropped by 25 percent at this stage and that's hard to correct.

CHURCH: Yes, understandably. John Defterios, joining us from Abu Dhabi many thanks.

Well, three major U.S. retailers are furloughing employees as the coronavirus pandemics forces stores to remain closed across the country. Macy's, Kohl's and Gap, each announce major cutbacks affecting hundreds of thousands of employees. But the damage to small businesses could prove even more disastrous and some are taking drastic steps to keep the lights on. Our Kyung Lah has our report.


KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Behind the forced closure of each door on one short block of stores, is a story, about the small businesses that employ half of America's private workforce.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean, when you put, everything into watching something grow, and then it stops suddenly, I was sitting on the floor just sobbing.

LAH: Jen Yates and Alex Artunion owned Fitness Center Studio Metamorphosis.

JEN YATES, FITNESS CENTER STUDIO METAMORPHOSIS: It surrounds every single dollar, penny to open and we did it.

ALEX ARTUNION, FITNESS CENTER STUDIO METAMORPHOSIS: How are we going to survive with -- we are going to wake up the next morning and have zero income. Like how does that work? You know?

LAH: Small businesses like Studio Metamorphosis, are due to receive closed the 400 billion (inaudible), and the $2 trillion government stimulus plan.

But as business owners wait for that financial relief, they are trying to stay connected to customers. Yates holding free virtual workout classes, making no money. YATES: I'm sorry.

LAH: Well at the Michelle health food store, native boutique.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible), I have payroll today.

LAH: Speed for this aid is key to her survival.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm concerned getting dug deeper into a whole, more debt, it's like, oh, I have a great opportunity to stay open to be in more debt. We need grants not just loans.

LAH: Emergency grants and loan forgiveness are a part of the stimulus package, so is the payroll tax credit, and a pause on existing small business loans.


Earth angel won't you be mine.

LAH: Welcome news to Boom School of Music and Dance that has moved to all virtual lessons, proving to be successful so far. But with a large payroll and high rent, owner Laura Porter worries how long this package will sustain mainstream, with weeks or months ahead of fighting the outbreak. And what this block will look like at the end.


LAURA PORTER, OWNER, BOOM SCHOOL OF MUSIC AND DANCE: It is so frightening because it's a day-by-day thing, you know, I can't even look at September.

LAH: What is it that you would like your leaders in this country to hear from you?

PORTER: You have to listen, to the average American out of work. You know and small businesses are big part of that.

LAH: We may be talking about this one block, but this is a tale of Maine streets and towns across America. There are 30 million small businesses in this country, 60 million Americans employed, privately by the small businesses, that is a lot of people, a lot of families. A lot of communities fighting. Kyung Lah, CNN, Los Angeles.


CHURCH: So many tragic levels to this pandemic, and then this just crossing the wires here, U.K. shares on the FTSE 100, are on track for their worst quarter since 1987. The financial times reporting the index has fallen almost 30 percent, in the first three months of this year. We'll be right back.


CHURCH: A sporting events and games around the world are put on hold, or canceled because of the coronavirus, one sport in Hong Kong continues on. Horse racing. But as CNN's Kristie Lu Stout explains it is a totally different atmosphere in these uncertain times.


KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Wednesday night race in Hong Kong, a ritual that draws 10s of thousands to the course in Happy Valley. It feels a bit different these days. When the bell sounds, and the horses break from the gate, there is only an eerie silence. There are no crowds or spectators. Only staff, jockeys and owners and club officials are allowed on site. And without the usual roar from the stands, I can clearly hear the horse's hooves, pound the grass track, as the jockeys yell and urge them on.

It must be a bit surreal when you don't hear the roar of the crowds anymore on a Wednesday night.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is surreal but if you look at the importance of horse racing in Hong Kong, over 30 percent of the population follows horse racing. Where we have 1.5 million racing fans and every Wednesday night you have at least 7 -- 800,000 people, who are now still sitting on the TV and feeling entertained. And that's why we think it's important to provide the tradition and to continue horse racing.

LU STOUT: The outbreak has transformed the sporting landscape in the region, over coronavirus concerns, both the Hong Kong and Singapore legs, of the world rugby seven series has been pushed to October. And the Tokyo summer Olympics have been delayed for a year. The first time Olympics have been postponed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Amazing staff leads the way.

LU STOUT: But in Hong Kong the race gallops on, with strict precautions in place. Everyone is subject to temperature screening before entry. Face masks are mandatory, and the courses aren't disinfected on a regular basis. The club's off course betting agencies remain closed, but locals can place their bets on online.


The Hong Kong Jockey Club Close say up to 700,000 people had online betting accounts, that's close to 10 percent of the city's total population. The turnover for tonight, almost 145 million U.S. dollars down from $160 million from one year ago. The club site are dropping cash only customers for the difference.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Racing around the world, probably the only sport that's continuing because it can behind closed doors, so racing (inaudible) because of the set up and the betting aspect of it and being able to do it remotely, so the fact that they're able to do that in these times, when people need entertainment, particularly if they're stuck at home, I think it's a positive thing.

LU STOUT: Because Wednesday night races continue in Hong Kong, what kind of message does that send to the rest of the world?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is unique for Hong Kong, and it's resilient of Hong Kong do deal this different (inaudible) and overcome it. And this is Hong Kong can do (inaudible). And Hong Kong racing is a symbol of Hong Kong.

LU STOUT: Covid-19 may be keeping the crowds away, but the races are still running, and the bettors are still betting. The tradition since 1973. Kristie Lu Stout, CNN, Hong Kong.


CHURCH: And from people singing to seniors, to delivering pizzas, to police stations everyday people, may not be congregating together, but they are definitely pulling together. John Vause, has more.


JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: They're the heroes next door, like most of us living under some kind of lockdown, anxious and scared, but still able to perform small but meaningful, acts of kindness.

Like the family singing outside their grandfathers nursing home, for the 100th birthday.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We'd love, we had great lives because we had a great example.

VAUSE: A native who entertains his street while playing this accordion while practicing social distancing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got problems on your mind and when you play music, you don't remember the problems.

VAUSE: His interest spending the day sewing together her own style of facemask.

That guy bringing pizzas to his local police station. And the churches with their familiar and reassuring sound the bells, ringing out loudly to remind us we are not alone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that's just a wonderful thing to do, to keep our connection to one another at this time of separation.


VAUSE: There is no way to know for certain how many, how often all of these moments take place, there's no way to count them like we do with confirmed cases of the coronavirus, but we do know, as the virus spreads, so to our acts of kindness and gives them some hope that together, somehow we will get through this. John Vause, CNN, Atlanta.


CHURCH: Bringing out the best in us all. Thank you so much for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church. I'll be back in just a moment.