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According to John Hopkins University, There Are Now More Than 1.6 Million Confirmed Cases of the Coronavirus Worldwide; Prime Minister Boris Johnson Was Moved Out of the ICU But Still Being Monitored for COVID-19; Some European Countries Prepare to Ease Lockdown; Spain Extends State of Emergency; Coronavirus Pandemic, Deaths In United States Surge Past 16,000; More Than 400 Cases Linked To Chicago Jail; Task Force Philadelphia And D.C. Could Be Next Hotspots; U.S. States Tighten Measures To Curb Spread Of Virus; Wuhan, China Lifts Lockdown After 10 Weeks; Philippines Confront Rising Number Of Infections; U.S. Fed Unleashes Additional $2.3 Billion In Loans; OPEC, Russia Agree To Supply Cuts, But No Deal With Mexico Yet; The Road Ahead For Covid-19 Survivors; U.S. Cities Light It Blue For First Responders; Teacher Walks Five Miles Daily To Deliver Free Meals. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired April 10, 2020 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Live from CNN world headquarters here in Atlanta, welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. I'm Natalie Allen and this is "CNN Newsroom."
There are now more than 1.6 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus worldwide. That is according to John Hopkins University, which said the virus has killed more than 95,000 people. There are some signs the tide may be turning in Europe, which was once the epicenter of the outbreak. Denmark and Austria are among the countries looking to scale back lockdown restrictions. They are aiming to reopen schools and shops after Easter.
In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been moved out of the intensive care unit. We are told he is still in the hospital being monitored for COVID-19.
In the meantime, in the United States, the number of hospitalizations is decreasing in New York and several other states, but the death toll continues to surge. The U.S. is surpassing now 16,000 virus-related deaths.
It's worth noting the U.S. has less than five percent of the world's population, but 17 percent of the world's deaths and nearly 30 percent of the reported cases. But the country will not be doing any mass testing as it tries to pull out of the pandemic and get back to work. President Trump said on Thursday, it is not necessary to test every American for the virus. More than 96 percent of the population is under a stay-at-home order. One of the top doctors on the White House Task Force says the restrictions are working to flatten the curve and now is not the time to let up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: At the same time as we are seeing the increase in deaths, we are seeing a rather dramatic decrease in the need for hospitalizations, so that is going in the right direction. I say that and I always remind myself when I say that, that means that what we are doing is working, and therefore we need to continue to do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: We get more now on the latest developments from CNN's Nick Watt.
NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): More than 16,000 have now died nationwide. In Detroit, health workers say people are dying in the E.R. hallways. The Chicago jail is now America's largest known sight of infection outside medical facilities with 400 plus cases among inmates and staff. In New York, military doctors now deployed not just to field hospitals but inside city hospitals.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But they are suffering from these doctors getting sick or nurses --
WATT (voice-over): This city, the crossroads of the world, now has more confirmed cases than any other city on earth, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): It's been 18 days since we closed down New York. I know it feels like a lifetime.
WATT (voice-over): New York State's curve is now flattening. The numbers are now encouraging, but the message stays the same, do not stop social distancing.
CUOMO: Because we can't handle the worst case scenarios. We can't even handle the moderate case scenarios.
WATT (voice-over): The president regularly hails his imposing travel restrictions on China in late January.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I cut off China very early. I closed down our country to China, which was heavily infected.
WATT (voice-over): Nearly 17 million Americans have now filed for unemployment in just these past three weeks. That's more than 10 percent of the total workforce.
JACORY WRIGHT, FURLOUGHED ELEVATOR DISPATCHER: I already can't swim, and literally feel like I'm drowning.
WATT (voice-over): Air travel in the U.S. down a stunning 96 percent, according to various metrics reviewed by CNN. Dr. Fauci says we might still be able to take summer vacations this year.
FAUCI: It can be in the cards, and I say that with some caution. We have to be prepared that when the infection starts rearing its head again, that we have in place a very aggressive and effective way to identify, isolate, contact trace, and make sure we don't have those spikes that we see now.
WATT (voice-over): This summer might still be very different to the last. Just listen into this Santa Clara County, California supervisors' virtual meeting.
JEFFREY SMITH, EXECUTIVE OFFICER, SANTA CLARA COUNTY (voice-over): I don't expect that we will have any sports games until at least Thanksgiving. I think we will be lucky to have them by Thanksgiving.
WATT (voice-over): For now, in Brookhaven, Mississippi, a drive-by show of support for 90-year-old Bryant Johnston, sick with the virus that just killed Betty, his wife of near 60 years.
BRYANT JOHNSTON, WIFE DIED FROM COVID-1919: I didn't get to see her. I didn't get to hold her hand. I didn't get to tell her goodbye.
WATT: A political and now legal battle escalating in Kansas tonight. The governor wants to limit all religious services to 10 people or fewer in the run up to Easter Sunday. Some of her political opponents disagree. So Thursday afternoon, the governor had to file a suit in the state's Supreme Court. The battle goes on. Nick Watt, CNN, Los Angeles.
ALLEN: We'll talk about the latest developments with Diana Bell. She's an expert in emerging infectious diseases and a professor of Conservation Biology at the University of East Anglia in the U.K. Thank you so much, Ms. Bell, for coming on. I want to talk with you first about new projections we are hearing in the United States, far fewer deaths projected to occur from this virus. What does that indicate to you?
DIANA BELL, PROFESSOR OF CONSERVATION BIOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF EAST ANGLIA: That would be really good news if that is the case. We have seen various models over the last few days. One was particularly shocking for us, suggested that we'll see 66,000 deaths by August in the U.K. alone. So, I'd like to see the data that the U.S. based on.
ALLEN: Well, social distancing seems to be working in the U.S., of course, and other places as well. But questions have already risen about easing them, of course. We are looking at Easter coming up. How important is it to make this critical decision?
BELL: Well, we had horrendous numbers of deaths, about 900 a day so far in a much smaller country than yours, obviously. And I think it's really important. It's absolutely true that we have to stay at home. We really have to obey the rules because the risks of going out and catching it and overburdening the health service, they don't have enough intensive care beds, it's a real risk. So, we really need to stay at home and respect social distancing.
I will say, by the way, we are allowed to go out once a day for a walk. I saw some data which showed that joggers and runners and cyclists actually, when they rush past you, they think that they can't contaminate you and actually they're not social distancing.
BELL: They need to really keep away because they are shedding.
ALLEN: Yeah. Also, social distancing is paramount, but eventually could other measures replace social distancing like mass screening, contact tracing, and selective quarantines?
BELL: That's actually what they've been doing in South Korea right from day one and some of the other countries that have kept their numbers low like Germany. So absolutely, I think we have to have a range of steps in place because we still have no magic drug. It is going to be a long time before we have a vaccine.
And so yes, contact tracing has been rigorously implemented even now in China. You are monitored where you are in your phone and you have to have cards confirming your health status and so on. So contact tracing is really important. But the most important thing we can do is stay at home.
ALLEN: Absolutely. You mentioned China. I want to talk about China because the virus started spreading from a wild market in Wuhan, China. China temporarily banned them, but what now? Are they still operating?
BELL: Well, actually, the evidence is that China has made that ban permanent and has introduced legislation to make those markets and indeed wildlife farms illegal for human consumption.
BELL: But one problem with that legislation is that it still allows the trade for medicinal purposes in these animals. So there is scope for improving this legislation. But it's not only China. There are other countries like Vietnam that also introduced legislation. You have the same markets that were involved in the supply chain to China but also have domestic consumption. So this is going to be a big regional change. I think it could be something positive.
ALLEN: We learned in the past hour that China has issued a draft agreement setting guidelines for animals that can be farmed for meat. But in those guidelines, there is no mention of the species of animal, which are suspected by scientists to have spread the virus to humans, such as pangolins and bats and civet cats. What do you make of that?
BELL: I think I'm trying to flip this because I don't think that the -- I think as scientists, we need to keep an open mind. Yes, we know that bats carry coronaviruses that are similar to SARS, similar to the Wuhan virus, but it is not identical. And pangolin was probably infected in the melee of animals in the trade.
So, you know, I think that we need to be looking at a range of other species. We know that rodents carry these coronaviruses, for example, SARS. So, actually, one of the reasons that people eat wild animals in China is that they are distrustful of domestic livestock or the industrial livestock, the poultry, the pigs which of course brought H5N1 virus and various diseases.
This is an opportunity for China to reinvent itself as a -- source so that people want to buy livestock produced humanely and healthily and this could solve problems in a big way.
ALLEN: Absolutely, something we will watch closely to see what transpires and evolves from China in the situation. We appreciate you joining us so much, Professor Diana Bell from England. Thank you.
BELL: Thank you. Stay safe.
ALLEN: You, too. Thank you. Staying in the United Kingdom now, nearly 8,000 people have died from COVID-19 there. More than 65,000 people have been infected. The government says it is too early to say when cases will peak and too early to stop social distancing, as we were just talking about.
But the country's leader is out of intensive care. Prime Minister Boris Johnson spent several days in ICU with persistent COVID-19 symptoms. He is still in the hospital there but his office says he's on demand. CNN's Max Foster is in London on this beat with more about the prime minister's condition. Hello to you, Max. This must be encouraging news.
MAX FOSTER, CNN LONDON CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, absolutely. Boris's father has just been on BBC radio as well talking about this. He is saying that Boris now must rest up, the point being that he won't be able to rush back to his prime ministerial work now. He's in a general ward here at St. Thomas.
He also talked about Boris Johnson taking one for the team. And he goes on to say, we got to make sure we play properly now. And this is really trying to push home a message that Britain has to take this pandemic seriously.
We are going into an Easter weekend here, a public holiday weekend, two public holidays, today and Monday, a huge amount of concern that people will go outside and make the most of the weather. But that isn't the proper thing to do right now even though it does appear that we're heading towards the peak here in the United Kingdom. So he will go to publicity campaign this weekend saying to people, please abide by this lockdown. It doesn't help when a senior cabinet minister appears to have broken his own rules. So we've been hearing today how Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has actually went to visit his family in what some people are saying second home. He's calling it his main home even though he has one here in London as well. He also went to see his elderly parents as well although he said he did adhere to the social distancing rules.
FOSTER: He said he took some essentials over to them. Someone in that level has to be seen to be acting absolutely within the rules. This has become a big story blowing out of the British newspapers today.
Let's go to Nina Dos Santos to see how this is going down at Downing Street. The focus appears to be this pressure on the public to sit by the lockdown at least for now.
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right. It will be in an informal manner for the moment. The big publicity campaign is set to kick off today throughout the course of the Easter weekend, largely saying that a happy Easter is a safe Easter, which means stay at home and don't be tempted to head out in large numbers to parks, to meet friends, to go see elderly relatives who you might have an Easter egg for in the cupboard. Just save it for when it's safer to do so.
This was Dominic Raab's message who is deputizing for the prime minister, who remains in St. Thomas Hospital, largely about the good work that has been done so far, especially if there's a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, according to the government scientific advisory team, indicating, Max, that the number of coronavirus cases appears to potentially be showing signs of flattening out.
I should point out that the 5:00 p.m. local time coronavirus daily press update delivered by Dominic Raab yesterday afternoon said that the number of coronavirus deaths in the U.K. had risen by more than 800 yesterday, bringing the total number to just under 8,000 people across the U.K.
So this is still very much a deadly disease. It is still something that frontline workers and the country's national health system are very much having to grapple with and reorient they're working ways to try and deal with a large number of cases.
It is for that reason that the government's messages at the moment is to please use your conscience and stay at home even if technically the lockdown was only for the first three weeks which expires over the course of the weekend. We want you to stick to the rules for now.
Then the government is advised when it passed this legislation, Max, review this legislation every 21 days. It is the job of Health Secretary Matt Hancock to do that. And that official review has to be done by next Thursday. So, we can expect more news over the course of the week to come.
When the Easter break is over, how long that lockdown can officially last for -- will it have to last for another three weeks? It's looking awfully likely, Max.
FOSTER: Good news. We see that Boris Johnson is in a general ward. He can't certainly go back to work. Will he be out to get involved in these big key decisions? Dominic Raab will contact him and say, what do you want us to do about the lockdown? So this leadership vacuum had frankly been there while he was in intensive care. It seems to at least been cleared up. That's another issue in relation to Boris Johnson.
DOS SANTOS: Yes, Max. You know, they've been very worried about this really because let's face it, Boris Johnson is the charismatic glue that has brought all of these cabinet characters, big believers, many of them, in leaving the E.U. and the Brexit project, and they have strong ideology that brings them together. But really, he is the driving force in terms of charisma to get them the numbers that they needed at the polls back in that spectacular electoral win in December.
And for that reason, even when Dominic Raab was deputizing as it went necessary for the prime minister on certain tasks, not all, he was very minded to not make it look as though some members of the cabinet (INAUDIBLE) the prime minister's power, that we may end up seeing a leadership struggle as a result of this. We know that a leadership show for the Conservative Party can be quite public and quite vicious as we saw when Theresa May stepped down about a year and a half ago.
So, for that reason, they have been very, very keen to sort of keep messaging around the prime minister's health positive to make it clear that he has been conscious throughout all of this. Yes, he did need some extra help with what they call standard oxygen treatment, but he never really needed any mechanical ventilation. He could always breathe on his own.
What was interesting in the press conference yesterday evening here at Downing Street, Max, was that Dominic Raab only spoken to the prime minister when he went into -- before he went to the hospital, so we don't really know this far how much contact there actually been between the people who are running the country when the prime minister is in hospital and the prime minister himself.
It's likely that they will leave that lockdown decision if he's better by next Thursday for him to be involved in some way for that. But it's far too early to tell at this point. Max?
FOSTER: OK. Nina is in Downing Street. Thank you very much. Natalie, lockdown is still effective. It's normally rush hour here in London and the roads are pretty much empty apart from the buses and essential workers making the rounds. It is holding for now.
ALLEN: It is good news on what you say is a beautiful day when people are tempted to get out and about.
ALLEN: Max Foster and Nina Dos Santos, thanks to you both. Next here, we will go live to other areas of Europe. Spain is extending its state of emergency. We will have much more. You are watching "CNN Newsroom."
ALLEN: Some countries in Europe hope that they have weathered the worst of the coronavirus. Germany's health minister said his nation could see a gradual return to normalcy after Easter. This comes as other countries in the region are also hoping to ease some of their lockdown restrictions in the upcoming weeks. CNN's Frederik Pleitgen takes a look at what they plan to do. He is in Berlin.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): This restaurant in central Copenhagen is still taking orders for delivery while the country has been ordered to stay at home. He is hoping for better days ahead as the crisis drags on, but --
QASIM KHAN, RESTAURANT OWNER: We think it's a bit too soon to talk about reopening. Even though it would be really good for us, I just think it is going to extend the whole period of sickness or the virus.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): Khan is referring to a decision by the Danish government to begin lifting restrictions and easing out of the current measures. The government plans to reopen daycare centers and first through fifth grade by early next week.
The prime minister says the decision is based on the fact that the number of those infected has been stable for a while. More than 200 people have died from the virus in Denmark thus far. It was one of the first European countries to restrict travel.
In Norway, the government says kindergartners will begin returning to school the week of April 20th, and those in first through fifth grade will go back a week later.
ERNA SOLBERG, NORWEGIAN PRIME MINISTER: What we see now in Norway is, of course, we have managed to get the reproduction number down below one. That means that everyone who has become ill is not infecting more than one person, infecting less than one person. That means that we are feeling that we are in control of the development.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): In both Norway and Denmark, authorities are cautioning that the crisis is not over. In fact, other social distancing restrictions remain in place.
Meanwhile, the Czech Republic is allowing some shops to reopen this week and some travel restrictions will be lifted next week. Authorities have also stepped up contact tracing to further stem the thread spread of the disease, hoping that would lead to the lifting of more restrictions.
And the Austrian government has also announced plans to begin easing restrictions as of next week.
SEBASTIAN KURZ, AUSTRIAN CHANCELLOR (through translator): So Tuesday after Easter, small businesses up to a size of 400 square meters as well as DIY stores can open again.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): The government says shop owners are still required to observe very strict safety measures such as allowing only a few people in, and insisting that every shopper wears a mask.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): Masks can now be bought from vending machines, including this machine at an underground train station in Vienna. On the streets, people cautiously welcome the government's decision to begin a gradual return to normality.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): The light at the end of the tunnel sounds good to me.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): In Germany, there's also been talk of a gradual return to normality. Chancellor Angela Merkel says Germany will evaluate the situation after the Easter break.
Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Berlin.
ALLEN: Both countries certainly reflect some encouraging news. However, now we want to talk about Spain, which is extending its state of emergency for a second time despite the prime minister saying that the country has reached its coronavirus peak. Let's head now live to Madrid where our journalist Al Goodman joins me.
Al, what is the messaging here from the prime minister? Even though it has reached its peak, he is telling people, keep doing what you're doing. What are you seeing?
AL GOODMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Natalie, he won approval in parliament as expected on Thursday for a two-week extension of the lockdown stay- at-home order. That brings it up to six weeks, almost to the end of April. But he warned that the conservative opposition -- and alerted the whole population -- that the conservative opposition has been slamming him for what they call his mishandling of this crisis.
He said he is convinced -- that's the word he's used -- he is convinced they will have to go back to parliament in two weeks' time to ask for further extension into May because he says Spain will not have ended its pandemic by then.
And with CNN analysis of the number of deaths, overall deaths in two of Spain's 17 regions, here in Madrid, the hardest hit area, and the area of Castile La Mancha just south of Madrid where the famous Don Quixote de la Mancha novel was at, finds that the number of overall deaths since this crisis began is higher than the number reported for the COVID-19 deaths.
And there seems to be some discrepancy by several thousands in Madrid by 800 in Castile La Mancha, the total number of deaths according to the courts in those two regions, that perhaps not all of the people who died in that time were actually tested and confirmed as being COVID-19 victims.
The government says they are working on that issue, but it gives you an idea of the complexity which goes back to why the prime minister and his health officials are not willing to just let everybody out in two weeks' time. Natalie?
ALLEN: All right, Al Goodman with the latest there. Al, we thank you. Now, we turn to Italy, where the death toll from the coronavirus has passed the 18,000 mark. CNN contributor Barbie Nadeau is live this hour for us in Rome. Barbie, hello to you. Is the spread of the disease continuing to slow?
BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: We have seen a slowing down and stabilization. We seemed to be on a very long plateau in terms of these cases. But we are still seeing a lot of deaths, more than 600 deaths in the last 24 hours. And the authorities keep telling us that that is the result of infections about two weeks ago, not a result of the situation at hand right now.
We are also expecting the prime minister to make an announcement about the extension of the lockdown here. It is supposed to end Monday, April 13th, but people are talking about likely after May 4th, after the May 1st long holiday weekend. That's a weekend that Italians generally take to the highways and streets and beaches. They want to keep people contained at least through that.
We will see what it looks like as they continue to work out how to reopen the country, whether it's in phases, whether some of the factories and industries can start opening first. I think it will be a long time before you see people out in the squares enjoying (INAUDIBLE) and things like that. That's way down the road, they are telling us, Natalie.
ALLEN: All right. Barbie Nadeau with the latest for us there in a very hard hit country of Italy. Thank you, Barbie.
Well, the United States now has more reported coronavirus cases than any other country. But it's hardest hit area might be flattening the curve and moving in the right direction. More about New York is coming up here.
Plus, he used to serve in the British military. Now, this teacher is serving school children in his community even while schools are closed. We will hear his inspiring story and what he is doing for them, coming up a little bit later.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to CNN Newsroom, I'm Natalie Allen. More now for our ongoing coronavirus special coverage. The number of deaths linked to the virus here in the U.S. has surpassed 16,000. And the nation has the most number of reported cases in the world, more than 465,000. President Donald Trump said Thursday there will not be any mass
testing of Americans for covid-19, and it is not clear when the country could ease the restrictions that have more than 10 percent of the total workforce filing for unemployment benefits. But the top U.S. expert on infectious diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci says that social distancing and stay-at-home orders are working to flatten the curve. He even says Americans could have a summer vacation if they stay vigilant.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALERGY AND INFECTOUS DISEASE: It can be in the cards and I say that with some caution because as I had said, when we do that, when we pull back and try to open up the country as we often use that terminology. We have to be prepared that when the infection starts to rear its head again that we have it in place, a very aggressive and effective way to identify, isolate, contact, trace, and make sure we don't have those spikes that we see now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Dr. Fauci also explained how the surge of deaths comes with a dramatic decrease in hospitalizations. He says that is a move in the right direction. It's a glimmer of hope in places like New York and other cities desperate not to become the next coronavirus hot spot. Here is CNN's Erica Hill reporting.
ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Empty streets, shuttered businesses, lives on hold. Signs of a long road ahead.
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): The flattening of the curve last night happened because of what we did yesterday. If we stop acting the way we are acting you will see those numbers go up.
HILL: California's early efforts gaining praise for slowing the spread as Northern County says sports are likely on hold through thanksgiving. In Chicago, more than 400 cases are linked to the Cook County Jail. Making it one of the country's largest sources of infection. As the city opens up a 66,000 square foot refrigerated warehouse to ease overcrowding at morgues. Positive cases now confirmed aboard three aircraft carriers and the National Guard deployed to two New Jersey veteran homes with dozens of positive cases and at least 12 deaths. Meantime the city of Philadelphia pushing back on planes into potential new hotspots.
DR. THOMAS FARLEY, PHILADELPHIA HEALTH COMMISSIONER: I am hopeful that the social distancing steps we put in place a few weeks ago are showing sometimes of working.
HILL: New Jersey tightening statewide measures, face coverings for all customers and employees in essential businesses, like grocery stores and pharmacies. Strict limits on capacity and gatherings. Nevada limiting the size of religious gatherings as Louisiana doubles down.
GOV. JOHN BEL EDWARDS (D-LA): There was no Easter exemption from the stay-at-home order. There was no Easter exemption from the 10 person limit.
HILL: The Kansas governor tried to do the same by executive order only to be overruled by the state's legislative coordinating council which claimed it went too far by quote, singling out one entity and limiting the free exercise of religion.
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are calling on every American and every state, first to listen to your state and local authorities. But right after that to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people. And know that in so doing will hasten the day, will hasten the day that we put the coronavirus in the past and we reopen our country.
HILL: the White House task force already working on a plan for that reopening, possibly in a matter of weeks as experts and those on the front lines urge caution.
DR. WILLIAM SCHAFFNER, INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPECIALIST, VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER: I am concerned that we are setting dates and not listening to the virus. The virus is going to tell us when it is safe to open up again.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want them to stay home and treat themselves like they have positive covid-19.
HILL: We're also learning more today about what's happening at the Javits Center behind me, 2500 beds here available for covid patients, but as just over 100 or so of them are being used, the city is actually asking for some of the military medical personnel on hand to help in other ways around the city. And today we learned 75 had been deployed to hospitals here in New York City to help relieve medical staff at those facilities, back to you.
ALLEN: Well, now we turn to China, the city of Wuhan where the virus was first detected in December is finally seeing a bit of normalcy after its lockdown was lifted several days ago. Airplanes and trains have been allowed to leave the city, but health officials say that the threat is far from over. Our Steven Jiang is live for us in Beijing, right now. Steven, hello to you, officials though are warning that a city along the Russian border could become the new Wuhan, what do you know about that.
STEVEN JIANG, CNN PRODUCER: That's right, Natalie. And it is a good thing this city is much smaller than the Wuhan population, only 70,000, but they have seen an influx of Chinese nationals returning from Russia in recent weeks, the reason for that is because the Chinese government has cut dramatically the number of international flights into the country, so Chinese nationals fleeing Russia have found it difficult to find a seat on these remaining flights. So many of them actually 2,500 of them are resorted to taking a nine hour flight from Moscow to Vladivostok in the Russian Far East. Then another two hour drive to this very small land border crossing eventually getting into the city.
Now the alarming thing is more than 10 percent of these people have tested positive for the coronavirus. So really overwhelming the small cities, health care system. That is what prompted the authorities to take a page from Wuhan. Sealing off the borders, locking down their city requiring everyone to stay home and also converting existing space into a field hospital to quarantine and treat the newly confirmed cases as well as to isolate and moderate their close contacts, because as you, Natalie, they are really concerned about a second wave of infections, not only involving people from overseas but also through new domestic transmissions as well, Natalie.
ALLEN: Absolutely, and Steven, of course it is suspected that the virus came from wild animals sold at a wet market in Wuhan. And now the Chinese government has issued a new draft list of animals that can be farmed for meat in the wake of the virus, what do we know about it and what does it mean going forward?
JIANG: That's right Natalie, this is still a draft, but if in when it does become finalized it will allow the authorities to decide, as you mentioned, what animals can be farmed for meat and what animals can't. Now, this is an increasingly urgent issue because of the suspected origin of the virus coming from that wet market in Wuhan where a lot of animals including wild one live in close proximity and often in unharmed hygienic condition very close to humans.
Now, experts had long said, it's this kind of environment that made a perfect for all sorts of viruses to jump from animals and humans. So, this new draft of course, is on the heels of the government temporarily banning the trade of all wild animals nationwide. And this draft also indicates the direction in which they're moving in terms of animal consumption. Now you see the usual (inaudible), the (inaudible), cows, pigs, and chickens, on the list, but it's worth noting that they have taken dogs off the list because as they described.
Because of the evolving chain in attitude and preferences of people dogs have evolved from being considered livestock to animal companions. So, that news, as you can imagine being welcomed by animal lovers and Animal rights activists around the world, Natalie.
ALLEN: Yes, absolutely, and the young people there in China who have said protect our pets, dogs. Thank you so much for the latest, we will see where China goes with these wet markets from here. Steven Jiang, thank Steven as always.
The health care community in the Philippines is being hit especially hard by the coronavirus. The country reports 252 medical workers have contracted the virus and 21 have died from it. Our Will Ripley has this story.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The number of
coronavirus cases is rising in many parts of the world that's certainly the case here in Japan and it's also true in the Philippines. Well, we're learning that doctors and nurses are putting themselves at increasing risk, because what the Philippines Medical Association president tells CNN, is a lack of personal protective equipment. He said that 21 medical personnel have died.
That accounts for around one in 10 deaths in the Philippines as a result of novel coronavirus. Now, of course that situation is not unique. Medical workers everywhere are putting themselves at risk. But in the Philippines you have a lot of people living in very unsanitary and dangerous conditions. The slums in the Philippines, if you haven't been there, there are people who are packed into one tiny room.
It is a breeding ground potentially for infection. When those people go to the hospital and the doctors and nurses don't have protective equipment that they need. The results can be really catastrophic. That's why you see the numbers rising there. Will Ripley, CNN, Tokyo.
ALLEN: Well, now we want to look at the economic fallout of the pandemic. The U.S. Federal Reserve has unleashed an additional $2.3 trillion in loans after a dismal job report on Thursday, 6.6 million people filed for unemployment last week bringing the total to nearly 17 million in the past three weeks. A deeper and faster job collapse then the U.S. suffered during the great recession.
CNN business emerging market editor, John Defterios is live in Abu Dhabi for us, and hello to you, John. Let's talk about this report first, what are we looking at here in terms of the unemployment rate, if this continues at this pace?
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Well, the first thing, Natalie, to note here is the velocity in which the jobless is rising, 17 million for context is about 10 percent of the active workforce in the United States, and we're not even a month into the crisis, when you measure the jobs enough for the Federal Reserve as your suggesting to pump more liquidity into the banking system in terms of loans at the banks, but this doesn't help those who don't have jobs in terms of direct payments.
There is a program for that but many are complaining it is not hitting them fast enough. A couple of alarming numbers that are emerging here in the second quarter that we can see the GDP drop by 25 percent. The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis which is one of the regional banks in the United States was suggesting by the end of June we could see the unemployment rate rise to 32 percent.
Again, for a perspective here, we were at a record low of 3.5 percent. Nothing like that since the great recession. We are not alone. The European Union is grappling with this is as well. And put together half a trillion dollar package last night after hours of rallying about who should pay for what, but they are in the same position. ALLEN: 3 percent to 32 percent, that number alone is chilling, isn't
it? You got to think about all the people behind those numbers. Let's talk about oil. Saudi Arabia and Russia have agreed to terms to cut oil production as a result of the coronavirus impact. Why is the market though John, not enthusiastic?
DEFTERIOS: Well, Natalie, there is a direct link between the economic collapse that we're talking about an oil demand. We're in a position right now where demand is estimated to be dropping by 30 million barrels, that's about 30 percent, something we've never ever seen the three decades of (inaudible) oil. The deal calls for cut immediately of 10 million barrels a day. So that is a third of where the drop is.
But to the credit of OPEC plus in this alliance they have, a 23 producers they want to extend this cut to April 2022. Something they would've never dreamt of three of four months ago. Now there is a hitch here, (inaudible) lone stand out. That said they didn't want to cut their production by 23 percent like everyone else.
So, there's G20 energy ministers that's taking place today in about five hours' time. Mexico is a G20 member, can they get them to side on so they can officially put this cut in place by the beginning of the next month or not. There is a lot of pressure on the oil market as a result.
ALLEN: All right, we always appreciate, John Defterios for us in Abu Dhabi. John, thank you.
Next year what is it really like to recover from the coronavirus, we'll hear stories from survivors and what lessons those stories might hold, that is next.
ALLEN: Well, as we've often been reminded during this pandemic it is, of course, a quite possible to recover from covid-19, but for the many people that do, tough questions remain, how and when do you know you have really recovered? What are the lasting effects and what kind of immunity do you have going forward. CNN's Brian Todd went to find some answers.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Shareka Williams' as horrible ordeal is just about over. The nurse who cares for the elderly at a nursing home in Tennessee says, when she was in the deepest throws of coronavirus she had to fight off thoughts of planning her own funeral.
SHAREKA WILLIAMS, NURSE WITH CORONAVIRUS: You can barely eat. You can barely walk and you can't breathe, because it hurts so bad.
TODD: With 10' of thousands of Americas being diagnosed with coronavirus daily and hundreds each day dying. There's also a growing number of people recovering from covid-19. And what they are going through can serve as a guide to millions. How do you know when you are coming out of it?
DR. MICHAEL MINA, IMMUNOLOGIST, HARVARD CHAN SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: The most important things to look for are better, our improvements in your breathing.
TODD: Dr. Michael Mina from Harvard also says, if you're coming out of the virus, you're dry coughs might start to lift. Your fevers might come down. But he warms you might also have false signals of recovery. Don't be fooled by one good day.
MINA: Too really be sure that you are rally kicking this virus and putting it behind you. It usually takes multiple days, three or four or five days of continuously feeling better and better. Improving your energy. Improving your breathing.
TODD: Then there's one recovering patient calls the rip van winkle effect. David Lat spent 17 days in the hospital and was on a ventilator for six days without even knowing it.
DAVID LAT, CORONAVIRUS SURVIVOR: I came back from off the ventilator, I kind of just went back to what I was talking and thinking about right before I went on the ventilator even though it was a week ago. I asked my husband to bring some books to the hospital. And (inaudible), did you bring those books? I just -- it didn't really dawn on me yet.
TODD: Experts say amnesia, or delirium in recovering coronavirus patients usually goes away. But caregivers have to watch out for long term effects in those who have had acute cases of the virus.
MINA: The inflammatory response to the body can sometimes really do some permanent damage to people. Whether that's damage to your lungs and the virus in the immune systems response to that virus or whether to brain tissue. Both all sorts of things can go wrong when you are in the intensive care unit.
TODD: Patients can also come out the other side stronger with antibodies, your immune system memory of the virus that could help fight it off again. Survivor Diana Baron is donating her plasma so others can benefit from her antibodies.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I like to think of it as being a super hero. Me and all the other survivors, we have these internally built hazmat suits.
ALLEN: Brian Todd there with that story.
We also want to bring you stories of the heroes that continue to help in this terrible pandemic that we are seeing. Next here, a teacher looking after his students even while school is out because of the coronavirus. We will tell you how he's going above and beyond to help them, right after this. We'll talk with him.
ALLEN: Look at this. Cities across the United States joined in a show of support by lighting up buildings in blue for first responders. Sports stadium led the way, illuminating the night skies with the light and blue initiative. It's a way to say thank you to all of the doctors, nurses, and those on the front lines fighting the coronavirus pandemic, beautiful.
Throughout these crisis we continue to hear stories about everyday people becoming heroes who are going above and beyond to help their communities. Among them, Zane Powles. He is a teacher who is walking 5 miles a day to bring free meals to students, not in school, because of the lockdown and Zane Powles assistant head teacher in Grimsby, England joins me now, thanks so much for being with us and good morning to you.
ZANE POWLES, ASSISTANT HEAD TEACHER WESTERN PRIMARY SCHOOL: Good morning, thank you.
ALLEN: Talk about why you decided to do this and how you are carrying out this very good deed to help miles to bring food to the children.
POWLES: When we found out the schools is going to be closed on Wednesday, my first concern was at the welfare of our children, how are we going to we see them? Especially among our (inaudible) children, how are they going to get their free school meals? So, immediately I got the map out, drew around the map, plotting where all our children were. How many meals needed and then divide it into two pieces, the biggest long way I could walk around, which is I say nearly five miles carrying between 75 and 80 meals.
And a smaller route which (inaudible), the deputy head, they drive about 25 meals. And in that way, it enables the parent and children to stay in the house that has been asked to. And I can support that and also I can see them every single day, bring them a meal everyday which is essential for them.
ALLEN: Yes. I want to talk to you about the reaction when there teacher shows up. Did you say 75 meals? I know that you're very much of fitness fanatic. I get it. You're the one to be doing this. But what's the reaction when they see what you doing for them?
POWLES: The kids are great, they are really positive, they say hi, they come to the windows, at their doors, I knock on the door, drop the (inaudible) and then step away outside the gates, they are brilliant. They thank you, asked how I am, and I ask how they are, (inaudible) I don't get them a homework.
ALLEN: That's really sweet and you said that these are children that are vulnerable they are on the fringes and so that makes it especially important, right, that you are showing them that we do care and we care about their lives and helping support you and where you go in life.
POWLES: Yes. That's true. Soon our parents -- our parents are great to be fair. They're doing the right thing and if I can support them in doing the right thing, that's all I'm doing.
There are some of our families that I have to make sure that I see every single day because the circumstances are difficult. So, it is essential that I see them to make sure that they're all OK. I think of all the parents are happy to see me as well, because (inaudible) they are stuck in the house with kids all day, every day. Choose an adult to chat to them sometimes is good.
ALLEN: Yes, and so, I know that you have been awarded in the past for your contributions to education going above and beyond. You are doing it again now and the world needs people like you in doing things like this. How does it make you feel to contribute in this way?
POWLES: I feel quite emotional actually at the moment. But I feel a bit overwhelmed by it all, I just do my job, I mean, our school, Western Primary School, our motto is the school that cares and we are bound to do. Actually our staff all over. I mean if I got (inaudible) someone would just step in or quite a few people obviously they wouldn't be all carried away to this two different streets. So, (inaudible), I'm just a bit embarrassed by all the fuss about me.
ALLEN: I understand it, but, you know, you're showing that it matters. Any little thing you can do matters especially now. And we really appreciate you taking the time to talk with us, and all the best. Zane Powles, thank Zane, good luck to you. Thank you.
Thank you for joining us this hour I'm Natalie Allen, I'll have another hour of CNN Newsroom and the latest statistics on the coronavirus around the world right after this.
ALLEN: Donald Trump says there will not be mass testing for coronavirus in the United States even when people start heading back to work.
Also this hour, out of intensive care. The British Prime Minister is on the mend after his bout with the virus. We'll go live to London for the latest on his condition.