Return to Transcripts main page


WHO: COVID-19 Soon to Hit 1 Million Cases; Nearly All Americans Facing Stay-at-Home Orders; Spain in a Phase of Stabilization; E.U.: Emergency Measures Must Not Last Indefinitely; UAE: Our COVID-19 Testing "Eclipses" Western Powers; U.S. Nurse Couldn't Get Tested, Worked While Infected; Italy Extends National Lockdown Until At Least April 13; India Is One Week Into The World's Largest Lockdown. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired April 2, 2020 - 02:00   ET




JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello and welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm John Vause.

Coming up on CNN NEWSROOM, as the pace of transmission quickens, the world is on the cusp of 1 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus. A growing number of infections is leading to a surging death toll, especially in the United States.

The British government vows to ramp up testing for the virus by a least tenfold, as each day sees more people dying than the day before.

Lifesaver or more harm than good?

Should everyone in public wear a face mask?


VAUSE: Less than four months into this global health crisis and in the coming hours, certainly no more than a day, the number of confirmed cases will soon pass 1 million worldwide.

There are two key points here, that's what the world looked like two weeks ago and, because of underreporting, the actual number right now at this hour is likely many times higher.

There's no shortage of blame, the U.S. president, who seemed more concerned with reelection then reacting, giving cover to recalcitrant governments, both state and national, who refused to accept reality.

And, of course, there are still some who just outright refuse to follow recommendations to social distance. The reasons why don't matter because the end result is the same.

According to Johns Hopkins University, the coronavirus has claimed 47,000 lives worldwide. And amid a sea of unknowns, we do know this, the death toll will only rise, especially in the United States, which is now bracing for two weeks like it has never seen before.

From Los Angeles to Paris, Cape Town to Milan, once busy crowded streets have all fallen silent. Entire nations are on lockdown for who knows how long and loved ones and livelihoods are both on life support.


TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS, DIRECTOR-GENERAL, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: Over the past five weeks, we have witnessed a near exponential growth in the number of new cases. Reaching almost every country territory and area. The number of deaths has more than doubled in the past week. In the next few days, we will reach one million confirmed cases and 50,000 deaths.


VAUSE: Right now, there are more than 20,000 confirmed cases across the U.S. But the president and his health experts are preparing the nation for much worse to come. U.S. already has almost twice as many cases as Italy, almost 3 times as many as China and again, according to Johns Hopkins, the death toll in the U.S. has passed 5,000, doubling in the past three days.

And there is a new report, which has found one in four cases show no symptoms. Evidence is mounting that those asymptomatic patients are contagious. Across the United States, almost 90 percent of the population now under some type of stay-at-home orders.

Now Alaska issued a social distancing mandate, which is similar to a shelter in place order. Most travel within the state has been banned; visitors must self quarantine. The president, though, during a briefing at the White House on Wednesday, essentially saying Alaska has imposed no such orders. Just one of many falsehoods which hardly seemed to register these days, like when the president talks about ventilators.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are soon going to have many ventilators that we need, we are building thousands of ventilators right now. It takes a period of time to build them.

And again, nobody could've noticed a thing like this could happen. We are building thousands and fairly soon be at a point where we far more than we can use even after we stockpile for some future catastrophes, which we hope does not happen.


VAUSE: "The New York Times" reports 2,109 lifesaving devices are unavailable after the contract to maintain the government stockpile lapsed late last summer. A contracting dispute meant a new firm did not begin its work until late January; by then, the coronavirus crisis was already underway. According to "The Times," almost 200 ventilators, which were delivered

to California from the federal stockpile, were in disrepair, despite claims by the federal government all were ready to use.

In the absence of this national leadership and no direction, CNN's Nick Watt reports on the eve of the worst of this pandemic, state and local officials are now ordering even tighter restrictions on movement.


NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Florida has finally relented and issued a stay-at-home order.

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R), FLORIDA: I think even though there are a lot of places in Florida that have very low infection rates, it makes sense to make this move now.


WATT: Nearly 7,000 cases statewide, nearly doubling since the weekend.

In New York, nearly 8,000 new cases in a single day. The governor just closed all the playgrounds in New York City.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: I say to my fellow governors and elected officials all across this country, look at us today. See yourself tomorrow.

WATT: This nurse is in Georgia.

CARLEY RICE, CRITICAL CARE NURSE: I didn't ever think that I would see this amount of deaths all at one time.

WATT: Sunday nationwide, at least 383 died. Monday, 575. Yesterday, 830, was our deadliest day. Today, we've already passed that number.

Current projections: at least 100,000 of us could perish.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our most recent modeling suggests that with strong mitigation, the range is still -- it's still heartbreaking.

WATT: And some say inaccurate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This model assumes like Wuhan, we're going to shut down all 50 states. That's not going to happen.

WATT: Take Louisiana, right now a hot spot and running low on supplies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Date for running out of beds is going to be around April 10th.

WATT: They have a stay at home order but other states do not. REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Why the president doesn't take action, you're just going to have to ask him about that.

WATT: Soon, we could all be told to wear masks.

JEROME ADAMS, U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: We've always said, we're going to learn more, we're going to adjust. And we've learned that there's a fair amount of asymptomatic spread. And so, we've asked the CDC to take another look at whether or not having more people wear a mask will prevent transmission of the disease to other people.

WATT: Sandy Rutter, a breast cancer survivor and single mother, has died, living six kids behind who could not hug her goodbye.

ELIJAH ROSS-RUTTER, MOTHER DIED OF COVID-19: They took a walkie- talkie and they placed the walkie-talkie right by her bedside on the pillow. I told her I loved her. I told her everything is going to be all right with the kids. You know, like us older siblings, we're going to -- we're going to make sure everything is okay with them and that they will grow up to be some adults that my mom would want them to be.

WATT (on camera): Here in California, the governor had a message for other governors who had not yet implemented a stay-at-home order.

His message: what are you waiting for?

Here in Los Angeles, behind me, this is an RV park that is now being set aside for people to self-isolate or self-quarantine if they don't have a home or if they just don't want to infect other people inside their home -- Nick Watt, CNN, Los Angeles.


VAUSE: The two countries hardest hit in Europe are fighting to stabilize a number of new cases. The death toll Wednesday was its lowest in six days. The country still reporting a growing number of new infections. The prime minister announced a national lockdown will extend to a least April 13th.

Meantime, Spain has confirmed more than 102,000 cases and reportedly its biggest daily rise in deaths on Wednesday with 864. Journalist Al Goodman is live in Madrid at this hour for us.

Al, it seems officials in Spain believe that they have reached the peak here. But the real concern is about the health system's ability to cope with so many patients.

Is that the reason they have kept this lockdown and extended it?

AL GOODMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, absolutely, John. They say that once you have reached the peak and there is a growing sense here among officials that the peak has happened, the health minister saying, Spain is now in a state of stabilization. They can't just let everyone go out and run around again because you will have a whole another wave of infections. Now more than 9000 deaths in Spain at this time and five consecutive

days now in which the number of deaths has risen by 800 or more each of those days. So 46 percent of all the 9000 dead have just happened in the last five days.

But the number, the percentage increase, which is what leads to the stabilization, are declining. If last week the death rate was going up by 20 percent a day, this most recent 24-hour period was up by just 10 percent and the number of new cases reported on Wednesday in the at least 24 hours was only up by 5 percent. That's the lowest number since the counting began.

Still, they are not letting down their guard. Let me get out of the screen and show you this military field hospital that has been set up outside of one of the major reference hospitals in the Spanish capital, which has been so hard hit.

These kinds of field hospitals are set up among a number of hospitals around the country to take excess patients so that they have the capacity. Even those things are stabilizing, there are still so many people in the ICU and intensive care wards, people are dying, they are still trying to get the gear.

A couple of planeloads of gear arrived on Wednesday from Turkey and from China. And they're still having to invent things.


GOODMAN: The civil guards, the security officers in the islands in the Mediterranean that is part of Spain, are allowing their diving masks -- diving tanks for their oxygen diving tanks to be sent over to hospitals and their goggles that are used by their marksmen, the ballistic goggles, to be used as masks.

So they are still inventing it as they are trying to get equipment out to the doctors and nurses who need it so they can take care of the people. John.

VAUSE: This is what they are doing. It's incredible, isn't it?

Thank you, Al Goodman, live with the very latest from Madrid.

The United Kingdom is down the same path as so many countries. Each day bringing a higher death toll than a day before. On Wednesday, 563 people died. It follows the death of the U.K.'s youngest victim to date, a 13-year-old boy who died alone in a London hospital.

Government officials have called up 3000 military reserves and are trying to increase testing from 10,000 a day to hundreds of thousands each day. CNN's Nic Robertson is live at this hour for us in London.

Nic, it's essentially a issue of testing here?

What else is the United Kingdom and Boris Johnson, the prime minister, planning to do? NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: The prime minister after yesterday's daily press conference issued a tweet, where he is still in self isolation because he still has the coronavirus. He is expected to come out of isolation tomorrow and this seems to be a effort to mark up -- which is an indication that even he feels that the government's message is missing its target.

If you look at the newspapers in the U.K. today, you will absolutely get that there is a rising amount of frustration that the government cannot even protect its frontline workers, not just without personal protection equipment -- you have museums in this country now who are going through their lockers and finding personal protection equipment that they use in some of their research and sending that to hospitals.

There is a real frustration there but the key thing here is the testing. When the prime minister told us about hundreds of thousands of tests, he was talking about the antibody tests, the test that sees if you have had the virus and if you are OK to go back to work.

The reality of the testing, despite the fact that the government here, over a number of weeks, has talked about raising the number of tests from 5,000 to 10,000 to 25,000 and going beyond that, the reality is that the government has barely been able to get above 10,000 tests that it has not even been able to, on some days, actually analyze.

More than 8000 of those tests because they are not utilizing all the laboratories available. The government has been criticized because there is a lot of laboratories across the country that could be doing the testing, analyzing the samples taken. The government is saying by the end of the week it will have 12.5 thousand tests available.

I think people are suspending their belief on that. The 25,000 figure that the prime minister used a couple of weeks ago might not even come into effect until the end of the month. So the government is significantly playing catch-up on that point. It is most critical.

So the one reason that a quarter of all health care workers are currently off work because they are quarantined or in isolation because they have symptoms or someone else in their family has symptoms.

The pressure is on to get those vital health care workers tested and back to work and, so far, out of 125,000 estimated health care workers stuck at home, only 2,000 have been tested. That's the situation here.

VAUSE: That's verging on a disaster. But Nic, across Europe, it could be said never let a crisis go to waste, especially if you are the prime minister of Hungary.

ROBERTSON: Especially if you are the prime minister of Hungary. He has been the bad boy of Europe for a long time in almost constant confrontation with Europe's liberal democracy.

He is now taking powers that he says are designed to speed up getting legislation through, he does not want to be troubled by having debates in parliament about anything around the coronavirus. So he is now taking some really significant powers that he could hold on to for a long time.


VIKTOR ORBAN, HUNGARIAN PRIME MINISTER: (Speaking foreign language).

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Unfolding on national TV, a blatant power grab. Hungary's autocratic prime minister Victor Orban, using COVID-19 as apparent cover, wins a vote, giving him the power to rule by decree.

No time limit on the sweeping reforms that effectively allow Orban to lock up journalists who criticize him for up to 5 years. Perhaps as shocking, the European Union's tepid reaction, a page-long written response, not even mentioning Hungary by name.

ERIC MAMER, EUROPEAN COMMISSION SPOKESPERSON: Any emergency measures must be limited to what is necessary and strictly proportionate.


MAMER: They must not last indefinitely.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): All across Europe, police say forces and armies are getting new powers. Interpreting the limits is a hot button issue. In the U.K., one regional force was criticized for using a drone to film a couple driving to a beauty (ph) spot to walk their dog and then shaming them by posting it online.

MARTIN HEWITT, NATIONAL POLICE CHIEFS' COUNCIL: There have been some incidents that we would not have wanted to happen before trying to understand how to work in this very new environment.

ROBERTSON: We are all asking ourselves those same questions, how much freedom to give up, for how long and under whose control?

What Orban is doing in Hungary, however, goes way beyond that debate. Europe's most illiberal democracy has just lurched toward a Russia- style autocracy.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Since he came to power a decade ago, Orban has been straining against Europe's democratic values, refusing to taken in migrants during the 2015 crisis; more recently, hollowing out Hungary's judiciary, over time turning the country into a one-party state.

All this, when truth about the coronavirus pandemic is at a premium.

MAMER: Now it is more important than ever that journalists are able to do their job freely and precisely so as to counter disinformation and to ensure our citizens have access to crucial information.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Orban's timing is perhaps not surprising; only a few weeks ago, Russia's Putin extended his own rule until 2036. As the world is distracted by the pandemic, both men reaping personal gain.


ROBERTSON: Here's the thing: Europe does have some influence over Orban, despite not confronting him right now. After things settle down after the pandemic, they give huge grants to Hungary and Orban needs that money. So that perhaps there are some checks and balances here.

But no doubt about it, there are leaders who will take advantage of the situation -- John.

VAUSE: Yes, no kidding. Nic, thank you. Nic Robertson reporting live from London. Appreciate that. Thank you.

The world largest democracy turned the world's largest lockdown. After the break we go to India where the death toll and number of infections remain relatively low but there are fears these numbers will dramatically change for the worst -- and soon.


VAUSE: The World Health Organization is continuing to study the evidence, they say, to see if widespread use of face masks in public would slow the spread of the coronavirus. Some European countries are not waiting for those results; they have taken it onto themselves to order the wearing of face masks in public. CNN's Isa Soares reports.


ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The World Health Organization stands by its recommendation that the public does not need to wear masks unless they are sick or caring for someone who is.

But as the coronavirus pandemic spreads, some European countries have made wearing a mask mandatory. The Czech Republic's government has required everyone wear a mask since March the 18th. And the health minister is appealing to other countries to institute a similar measure.

ADAM VOJTECH, CZECH REPUBLIC MINISTER OF HEALTH: I recommend to all fellow and ministers and governments, to implement nationwide use of face masks, even homemade ones. Today, we see that this was one of the most important decisions that we have made. And if it helps here, it can help anywhere.

SOARES (voice-over): Masks are also required in Slovakia. Every official seen here is wearing a mask during the swearing in ceremony for the country's new government.

And no exceptions. Even TV anchors in Slovakia followed the new regulations. Nearby Austria will require people to wear masks in grocery stores starting next week. Employees at this location are already handing them out to customers.

Bosnia Herzegovina's government closed schools, shops and barred foreigners from entering the country to prevent the spread of the virus. Now they too are taking the extra step in mandating face masks. Some cities within other countries have jumped on the trend. In

Germany, the town of Yeyna (ph) is the first in the country to require everyone to cover their nose and mouth while in public.

Dr. Anthony Fauci tells CNN that we all have to behave as though we have the virus and if you are leaving home for something essential, wearing a mask can't hurt. But he warns that we need to be careful not to take masks from the health care workers, who desperately need them.

On social media, a new campaign backed by the Czech government called Masks4All, not only pushes for everyone to wear masks but encourages making face masks at home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Many companies, theaters or even retirement houses change their buildings into something (INAUDIBLE) and thousands of people started to sew masks at home.

SOARES (voice-over): Advocates for face masks suggest that Asian countries, including South Korea and Taiwan, have been slowing the spread of COVID-19 more quickly than countries like Spain or Italy because their residents wore masks. But there is no real scientific evidence of that -- Isa Soares, CNN.


VAUSE: Finding those face masks is actually quite difficult and some are making their own but here's the rub: what if you can't sew?

Don't worry, we do have a solution. They actually have an online tutorial showing how you can make a face mask from a paper towel. Here it is. You need rubber bands and a stapler as well.

Fold it up like that, put the rubber bands on the end, staple it down, one click, same on the other side, staple down for the rubber band right there. Here we go. It's real quick. Here we go and bada bing, bada boom, you have got a face mask. OK, it's not perfect, it's not ideal but it will stop you from touching your face and, hey, it's better than nothing.

Anyway, more proof that a combination of early and extensive testing can lead to can significant containment of the outbreak. They did just that in the United Arab Emirates. Sam Kiley reports.


SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Known for its oil wealth and architectural ambition, the United Arab Emirates now sees itself as a world leader in fighting the coronavirus through testing. Recently bringing drive-through testing for the virus to the Emirati capital.

There is no question that here in the United Arab Emirates, because they are ruled by monarchies, they are not subjected to the trials and tribulations of democratic rulers. They also have a high level of surveillance of the population. Both of those things mean that they can impose pretty draconian responses to problems. When it comes to the coronavirus, they though, have been very far ahead of the curve than other western nations.

The UAE closed schools and colleges before the epidemic in China and nearby Iran spread into a global pandemic.


KILEY (voice-over): And before long, the Emirates were in a near total lockdown. Now, with just over 600 known infections and under 10 deaths, authorities here say that they are testing on a relative scale that eclipses western powers.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, the idea is to identify the positive, do the contact tracing, test all the contacts, screen populations, if need be, to identify all the positives and isolate them to stop the spread of infections.


KILEY: The more tests done, the easier it is to isolate those who are infected and break the pandemics chain. It's a simple process that's been ruled out across every one of the emirates. It's free to vulnerable patients and those showing symptoms.

In the U.S., the U.K. and most other nations, tests are limited to those likely to be infected. Here, everyone is encouraged to get screened. It costs about $70.

Good morning.


KILEY: I'm scared.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No need, sir. It will be very fine. I have to take temperatures.

KILEY: Are you going to shoot me?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, no, no. Just take. Yes, it's very normal only 36.6. KILEY: Then it gets uncomfortable.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, don't worry, everything is OK. I just want you to relax. Try to make your head up. Everything is good. Just close your eyes. Do not feel what I --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just relax and spread like this.

KILEY: Like that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just close your eyes. Nothing to worry, OK?

KILEY: It sounds appalling now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Close your eyes, OK? Relax, I'll finish. I'll finish. Very good.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Very good. Whenever it's coughing that means that it's right.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Take this. Take this.

KILEY: Thank you. Results are out in 24 hours.

AYSHA AL-DHAHERI, HEAD OF HEALTH PROMOTION, ABU DHABI DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH: The aggressive of the test is very important because it will early detect the cases and provide the proper care and also allow the system, the healthcare system to trace the cases and contain the spread of the disease.


KILEY: That might work in the Emirates but as the World Health Organization has said, testing on an even greater scale is a global imperative -- Sam Kiley, CNN, Abu Dhabi.


VAUSE: What happens when those facing the greatest risk of exposure to the coronavirus just can't get tested?

In New York, one nurse, repeatedly denied testing, turns out she was treating the sick while infected. Her story is next.





JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause with the headlines this hour. The death toll from the novel coronavirus in the U.S. now tops 5,000 according to John Hopkins University, and an even greater surge in fatalities is expected in the next few weeks. The U.S. now has nearly three times as many cases as China where the outbreak began. More than 87 percent of Americans are facing stay at home orders.

Italy is extending its national lockdown until at least April 13th. More than 13,000 people have died from the coronavirus there, making Italy the hardest-hit country in Europe. The country has been in lockdown for three weeks, but the number of new infections is still increasing. And the United Kingdom seeing its deadliest day over the pandemic. The

Prime Minister says 563 lives are lost on Wednesday including the youngest victim so far, a 13-year-old boy. He died alone in a London hospital. The defense minister has caught up 3,000 military reservists to help with this battle against the virus.

A lack of testing in the United States continues to be a major problem especially for healthcare workers who are at the greatest risk? CNN's Elizabeth Cohen spoke to a nurse in New York who was refused to test and work for nearly a week while infected.


ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: This nurse says she worked for about seven days at two New York City hospitals while infected with the coronavirus. She went undetected because their hospital wasn't testing the staff. She doesn't want to reveal her name or where she works for fear she'll be fired.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two weeks ago, I was feeling back pain, a lot of back pain. And then one night I had really bad chest pain.

COHEN: Did you ask your hospital to test you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was told the hospital was not testing staff. That's what I was told when I asked about getting tested.

COHEN: She continued to work.

You wore the same mask the entire day from patient to patient to patient?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Yes, we do. I'm touching that mask. It's on my face. I put it back on, virus flies in the air, it goes right up in my nose. It's so easy to get contaminated when you have to put on something that already has virus on it.

COHEN: And you wear the same gown all day from patient to patient to patient?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, the same down.

COHEN: She says the emergency room refused to test staff, so she went there in the middle of the night when she knew her friend would be on duty.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I said, please just as one time, do it. I just want to make sure I don't have it. I don't want to spread anything. She said, OK, and she tested me.

COHEN: It took five days for the results to come back. She tested positive.

Do you worry that you might have infected patients?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, definitely. I'm worried I infected staff members, visitors, patients.

COHEN: We shared the nurse's story with the author of Safe Patient Smart Hospitals, Dr. Peter Pronovost.

PETER PRONOVOST, CHIEF CLINICAL TRANSFORMATION OFFICER, UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS: That story's heart-wrenching. And as a clinician or just a human being, it's horrible.

COHEN: Pronovost says he wishes the U.S. could do what's being done in some other countries. At Hadassah Hospital in Israel, utilizing tests that aren't needed for patients, they test all health care workers every five days.

YORAM WEISS, DOCTOR, HADASSAH MEDICAL CENTER: We feel that this is extremely important in order to protect our entire workforce and our patients.

COHEN: But this can't be done in the U.S.

PRONOVOST: Sadly, we just don't have enough test to do that right now.

COHEN: Which is how this nurse ended up working while infected. Fortunately, she's feeling better now and is in isolation at home.

Do you think right now there are doctors and nurses working in the hospitals where you work who are positive for coronavirus?


COHEN: Does that scare you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, it does. Nobody wants to get this virus.

COHEN: Elizabeth Cohen, CNN Atlanta.


VAUSE: Well, in Italy, the slowing death rate appears that the outbreak may have actually peaked in that country which has been the hardest hit in Europe so far. There's also new cases there as well. And that growth rate is moderate, giving some indication may be the situation in Italy has stabilized.

Let's go to Barbie Nadeau who's live for us this hour in Rome. And of course, as they look at these numbers, and they hope for stabilization, they hope that is now coming to an end, at least the beginning of the end, there is still this great concern about the health and the well-being of the frontline workers or the medical workers who are suffering in large numbers and the rest of the population.

BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: That's right. You know, we've got over 10,000 healthcare workers here who have been infected with the disease. Over 67 people we know of, doctors we know of so far have died. You know, that is against the backdrop of relative good news that the numbers seem to be stabilizing. We have fewer deaths over the last 24 hours. It's hard to celebrate, still 700 deaths in a 24 hour period of time.

But the Prime Minister made a national address last night and said he's going to extend the lockdown to at least April 13th. And then we could start thinking about what he called a phase two, something that would look like getting back to some sense of whatever the new normal is going to be.

But we still got a long way to go. We're into our fourth week of a draconian lockdown which means no one can go outside except to get groceries, walk your dog, go to the doctor. And it's really wearing on a lot of people, even as the good news starts to come our way, John.


VAUSE: I mean, there's also the question of how much longer the economy obviously, which is at a standstill. This is not unique to Italy, but because the problem has been so bad there, the economy is taking just such a huge hit. I mean, is there any indication of just how big of a hit it will be?

NADEAU: It's enormous. And you know, Italy didn't come into this strong. We were on the verge of recession as this started. So, a lot of people are very, very concerned about what this is going to look like on the other side. But again, the Prime Minister last night said that there will be eventually -- he didn't give a date -- you know, sort of a rebirth in this country. There would be a relaunch of the economy, and they're doing everything they can to try to keep people afloat while everything is closed down there.

There is help for those people who can't buy their groceries. You know, a lot of grocery stores as well are giving out packets of, you know, care for people who just don't have a paycheck, who missed that first paycheck. You know, we're about a month ahead of the United States, for example, in terms of where we are. And so hopefully we'll be a month ahead when it comes to ending this nightmare, John.

VAUSE: Yes. And we wish you all the best. Barbie, thank you. Thanks for being with us. The world's largest lockdown is now into the second of three weeks. India has almost 2,000 coronavirus cases, almost 60 dead. Factories markets, shops, places of worship all shuttered, with the Prime Minister ordering everyone to stay home and keep their distance. Not easy in a nation of 1.3 billion.

Officials in Delhi plan to track cell phones belonging to anyone who is infected to make sure they don't break quarantine. And here's a visual display to try and help explain why distance matters. These traffic police are wearing spiky helmets. You can see that there. They're pointing some kind of play.

The helmets resemble the virus and show how it attacks people and gets passed along. Not exactly the most scientific explanation but they're hoping the message gets out. One of those leading cardiovascular and cardiothoracic surgeons Dr. Naresh Trehan joins us now live from New Delhi for more on the situation there.

So Doctor, thank you for taking the time to be with us. Right now, India's cases, confirmed cases, and the number of dead seem incredibly low. Is that the result of this lockdown which would be good news or is that the result of a lack of testing which would, I guess be bad news?

NARESH TREHAN, CHAIRMAN AND MANAGING DIRECTOR, MEDANTA HEART INSTITUTE: So, it could be both. The fact is that this lockdown has been at least at 90 to 95 percent successful. And also the fact that recently, we were not testing enough because the facilities were only -- the government facilities are there and just overloaded. But in the last week, the doctors opened up the testing to pirate labs, and now they've actually expanded across the country.

And even though the next three, four, or five days where the reality is in the community, so far, we didn't have a complete picture. So hopefully lockdown has been a big difference. Although recently, you may have heard already two days ago, there was a big problem as one of the congregation at a mosque where these people were there for several days, a lot of them are tested positive. And the bad news is that they have traveled throughout India and the government is very, very seriously tracking them down and isolating them and testing them.

So I don't know how much difference that would make. But the basic thing is so far they've been quite though our infection rate and our death rate are low. That's true. But I think that you seeing (INAUDIBLE) because we have say, a month behind the United States, and let's what it brings. Because we are all gearing up for an onslaught for sure.

VAUSE: With regards to those migrant workers you mentioned, there was some concern about obviously allowing them to travel, seeing them back out you know, into their community. Some I read are actually walking home on foot. How will the government actually be able to track these people down, and there is a considerable number of them who could be positive?

TREHAN: So basically, they were registered for this congregation. There was a 10, 15-day conference going on. So these people have registered, and a large number of them came from overseas. I think there is a fair number of people who came from Indonesia. And from that register, we are trying to track down where all they went.

And all the state governments have been alerted to the fact and if we get enough cooperation from the ground level, we may be able to track most of them down. Because there are a thousands of them are still in Delhi who have been now quarantined.

VAUSE: There's words is coming to us now that the first death in one of the biggest slums there in India has now been recorded, the first deaths from the coronavirus. That would have to be essentially the worst-case scenario in many ways because that means that obviously, the virus is there. And the only way -- the only way this plays out, I guess, is that it starts to spread.


TREHAN: So it is of great concern to us, no question. The first death in Dharavi which is in Mumbai, which is the biggest slum in the -- in the whole world, I think. You know, the government has caught it off completely, extensive testing is going on over there, house to house history taking, temperature measurement, all that stuff is going on.

So it will be -- it will take a lot to contain it right there, but the government that means business, and there are measures being taken right away, especially in the view of the death that took place yesterday.

VAUSE: In the early stages of pandemics, there were some hope that maybe, you know, high temperatures, high levels of humidity would slow the virus down. Is there any evidence that that might be happening in India?

TREHAN: You know, it's a little early in the sense the temperature have just started going up over 30. They're now 32, 35 degrees. In the -- in the extreme note, they are higher. But there are very factors which are at play, which we don't know, but extensive data is being collected. All of India has been vaccinated with BCG vaccine. There is some speculation maybe or some evidence to say if you have been vaccinated with BCG, maybe your resistance goes up. And you're -- one, you may not get infected and the degree of response to the infection may be muted.

So these factors are all I mean, out in the -- out in the open there. We don't know the answers, but extensive work is being done right now, and we are doing all the testing. So there are many factors which are different in India from the rest -- from the western population, so I don't know if they'll work in our favor or not.

VAUSE: What is that vaccine for, sir?

TREHAN: But we do have a high density.

VAUSE: Sorry, just very quickly, before we move on. What is that vaccine for, the BCG or VCG vaccine? What does that normally treat?

TREHAN: That's for smallpox.

VAUSE: OK, thank you. And you know, it could be effective is the hope, I guess. Very quickly, India has --

TREHAN: Yes. That's why they're saying maybe it has created enough antibodies to fight.

VAUSE: We want to touch on this. India has a high rate of tuberculosis, pneumonia, smoking is common. There's air pollution, it's densely populated, especially in some areas like the slums. You know, obviously, they are the big concerns, the existing health conditions as well, that you know, as far as it does take hold, the impact could ultimately be devastating.

TREHAN: Yes. That's why we are worried. That's why the government is very serious about it. That's why this whole lockdown was done in one go. And the states are also -- the different states are also taking it quite seriously. And there is a whole sort of public awareness that's happened.

I'll give you an example. You heard about the migrant laborers which went back to their villages. So there are reports coming out to the villages that the villagers are keeping them in isolation. That the people who are returning, the laborer that is returning, they put them into separate cottages for 14 days of quarantine.

VAUSE: That's right.

TREHAN: So if that is happening in the countryside, it will help to mitigate the problem. But like, you're right, the density of our population per square meter is very high. And also, that we do culturally, we are very gregarious, much like the Italian culture. But I think that this lockdown has been taken very seriously, the pollution levels have come down to be the healthiest you'll ever see anywhere in the world. So maybe these things will help. Yeah, nobody knows.

VAUSE: Yes. Let's hope so.

TREHAN: And the government is actually waiting for the data to come out in the next week to 10 days to take a decision of when to end this lockdown.

VAUSE: OK, Doctor, thank you so much. We really appreciate you being with us. Dr. Trehan there in New Delhi, one of the world's leading cutting edge thoracic surgeons, heart experts. Sir, thank you. We appreciate your time.

TREHAN: Thank you.

VAUSE: Well, it's the start of a new month. That means the rent is due. But for so many who are out of work, then are struggling to pay and they are now in a fight against eviction.



VAUSE: The U.S. economy enduring another devastating week. With millions of members gets out of work, many unable to pay the rent, so they're going on strike. Kyung Lah has this story.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We just need the rent to be gone. And we can't work.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We can't work, we can't pay.

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Renters lined the streets of circle in cars calling this rent strike. It's the first day of the month and nearly 50 billion in rent is due in the U.S.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lot of us are already choosing between food and rent. We're saying to choose food. LAH: Across the country, rage rising with job losses climbing. Renters are sharing warning letters from landlords online. One warrant, rent is due on the first, nothing has changed. One extends a rent deadline only until April 10th. And this one stresses rent is still due. If you've been laid off, it adds, places are hiring like grocery stores, Amazon, Walmart, and more.

Renters are fighting back from this Los Angeles protest to signs of resistance posted across the Midwest from Chicago to Brooklyn, New York, to New Orleans pledging to not pay. Los Angeles and New York mayors issued no eviction orders, but renters say that's not enough.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If we can't pay that rent and we're in debt, how are we supposed to be out of that debt, post-quarantine?

LAH: Did you lose your job?

SHUJANA ANTHONY, FORMER WAITRESS: Yes. All of us lost our jobs.

LAH: Because of coronavirus, says Shujana Anthony, she used to make enough from her restaurant Rosa Mexicano to cover her Los Angeles apartment rent.

ANTHONY: Check out my little 500 square feet $1,100 a month.

LAH: How are you going to pay this $1,100 rent?

ANTHONY: I don't know. When you're scared, you don't see nothing but fear. So those people, they don't have nothing else but a sign in their car.

LAH: These rent strikers, you feel for them?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, absolutely. 20 years ago, that would have been me.

LAH: But today, Matthew Heitzer sits on the other side as a landlord. He is working with his tenants but can only do so much.

MATTHEW HEITZER, LANDLORD: I have no ability to handle this beyond a couple of months.

LAH: His family started out in a small condo just before the 2008 mortgage crisis, which left them $70,000 underwater. Unable to sell but able to rent the condo, they're still climbing out of the red.

HEITZER: If someone loses their job, they can no longer afford to pay rent, follow it through. If I can't pay that mortgage and I have to pay that mortgage at some point, well, that could bankrupt me.

LAH: Matthew Heitzer tells me that his renters did pay their rent on time today. Many of the renters in our story though, say they did not pay because they couldn't. The Urban Institute does say that $50 billion in rent came due today. But here's a little perspective, $90 billion, almost double that and mortgage payments are also due. Kyung Lah, CNN, Los Angeles. (END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Well, the latest evidence of economic disaster from the coronavirus will come in just a few hours with new U.S. unemployment figures. Analysts expect as many as five million Americans or more filed for benefits last week. CNN Business Emerging Markets Editor John Defterios is live in Abu Dhabi. Do we know what we're looking at this time? And is it going to be a true reflection of where we're at or is there still a lag here?


JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN BUSINESS EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Well, I think these are records, John, that nobody benefits from. Let's put it that way. The consensus is for five million. I actually see estimates that are much higher than that. Last week, we had a report of 3.3 million asking for U.S. jobless benefits. That was nearly five times the record back in 1982. We've never been in this territory.

And there's a direct link on the jobless benefits and what's happening on the factory force. And in the last 24 hours, you saw in the United States, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, put out atrocious surveys for the next quarter suggesting that these were worse than what we saw going back to 2009. India put out its latest report. It was lower, a four-month low, but still above 50 which is a positive.

We see U.S. Futures, by the way, in the stock market, trading up about one percent. This is giving some benefit to the Asian financial markets. We see the Nikkei Index is lower, Hong Kong and Shanghai trading just above the line, and then we saw a rally in the last 30 minutes in South Korea. But it was a horrible day on the markets yesterday from Asia to the United States with losses of four percent or more on the trading floor because of exactly what we're talking about.

VAUSE: I guess very quickly, John, if we look at the stock markets and the economies everywhere around the world, had they hit bottom yet? I guess that's what everyone wants to know.

DEFTERIOS: Well, you know, John, we had losses better than 20, 25 percent. And the earnings for the year, for example, on Wall Street are supposed to be down by a third, so the answer is no. And I think the unemployment situation is mind-boggling, if you will. To the end of June, the St. Louis Reserve Bank of the U.S. Federal Reserve was suggested we could go from three and a half percent, a near record low, John, to over 30 percent by June with 47 million Americans unemployed. It's not something we've ever seen before.

And the real question, to your point about the stock market, is this a V-shaped recovery? Are we going to see that sort of unemployment actually come to fruition? And is it last through the third quarter? These are key question marks and candidates too early to answer. But can you imagine the idea of seeing a tenfold increase in unemployment in such a short period of time? I never heard of it before?

VAUSE: Yes. Australia had an unemployment rate of 30 percent in the Great Depression, but I think that's one of the few countries that has ever seen that kind of number before, but it's a different case for the United States, of course, obviously. But John, thank you for the update. We appreciate it. John Defterios live there in Abu Dhabi.

A short break, when we come back, from pop songs to Broadway musicals. Musicians are rewriting big hits and classics to reflect life now during a pandemic.


VAUSE: Amid all the grim depressing news, there are still stories out there which might give you some hope, maybe a laugh, and if nothing else, a break from all the bad. Here's Anna Stewart.


ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Love knows no borders. An elderly couple living on either side of the German-Danish border aren't letting its closure get in the way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A day doesn't go by that we don't meet.

STEWART: And in Wales, the streets of this town aren't as empty as they should be. Mountain goats are running riot flouting government's stay at home rules. They've left their nearby headland to take advantage of the deserted streets, providing a free hedge trim service, not to every resident's liking.

And in Tennessee, a dance-off held by a six-year-old Sherrie Neely. Challenge accepted by her 80-year-old grandfather who lives over the road. Social distancing made fun.



VAUSE: He's got some moves. And if you are stuck at home with nothing to do like most of us, and you have some musical talent and a sense of humor, it might be time to share it online. Here's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: If you're sitting alone on your couch, pantsless perhaps, the governor of New Jersey is not admonishing you --

GOV. PHIL MURPHY (D-NJ): No more than knucklehead parties or gatherings.

MOOS: He and Larry David.

LARRY DAVID, COMEDIAN: I basically want to address the idiots out there.

MOOS: Are trying to reach the congregators ignoring pleas to stay at home. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got a situation.

MOOS: New Jersey even recruited The Situation from the reality show Jersey Shore.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just have unbelievable mass appeal.

MOOS: To convince the fun-loving masses.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The time for parties is over.

MOOS: And Larry David is doing the same thing for California.

DAVID: Nothing good ever happens going out of the house. You know that. There's just trouble out there.

MOOS: But even more eyebrow-raising are the efforts to encourage social distancing from the parody of the Vanilla Ice classic Ice Ice Baby by a guy known as the Singing Dentist, to this parody of The Sound Of Music.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do not fear, but please stay here. Stay at home now, everyone.

MOOS: The message: It's safer for the Von Trapp family to be von trapped at home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don't let COVID virus spread. Isolate yourself at home.

MOOS: Even if the kids keep encroaching on your social distance. Australian comedian Chris Franklin wrote a little ditty.

CHRIS FRANKLIN, COMEDIAN: The world has caught a virus. So I've written you a poem.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need your help to cure it. So stay at home.

MOOS: Retiree Bob E. Kelly turned the lyrics into song while self- quarantining at home in the woods of New Hampshire. Who needs to call people idiots and knuckleheads when you can just sing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You need to grow a brain cell and stay the (BLEEP) at home.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


VAUSE: Good advice. Thank you for being with us. I'm John Vause. The news continues with Rosemary Church right after this.