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Coronavirus Peak Still to Come; British Prime Minister Taking Short Walks; France COVID-19 Death Toll Tops 13K; Virus Dangers to Fragile Countries; U.S. Health Officials Shift Focus to Antibody Testing; Himalayas Once Again Visible in Northern India. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired April 11, 2020 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello, everyone, and welcome to Studio 7 here at CNN Center in Atlanta. I am Michael Holmes. Welcome to the program.
Thousands more die from coronavirus in the U.S. as President Trump says he's facing the biggest decision he's ever had to make.
As Europe fights the pandemic, momentum is building to guarantee a universal basic income for all.
And around the world, people are staying off the roads and that is clearing the air. Dramatically.
HOLMES: With the coronavirus gripping the world, social distancing may be showing results. But experts are warning that this is not the time to let our guard down. Not yet. According to Johns Hopkins, the global death toll now tops 102,000. There are nearly 1.7 million recorded cases.
The U.S. alone reports half a million cases close to 19,000 deaths. The White House Coronavirus Task Force coordinator says the U.S. still has not hit the peak.
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DR. DEBORAH BIRX, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE COORDINATOR: So it's really about the encouraging signs that we see but, as encouraging as they are, we have not reached the peak and so every day we need to continue to do what we did yesterday and the week before and the week before that.
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HOLMES: Still, with the economy stalled and unemployment skyrocketing, U.S. president Donald Trump is eager to reopen the country for business but his advisors say it is important not to take that step too soon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Don't let anyone get any false ideas that, when we decide, at a proper time, when we are going to be relaxing some of the restrictions, there is no doubt you are going to see cases. I would be so surprised if we did not see cases. The question is how you respond to them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Backing that up, "The New York Times" reporting a new model predicts cases would surge in the U.S. if stay-at-home orders are lifted at the end of the month. New York is still the epicenter in the U.S., more than 174,000 cases, nearly 8,000 deaths. Erica Hill explains how that state and others are dealing with the crisis.
ERICA HILL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There are now more positive cases in New York state than in any country around the world. Yet, there are signs of hope. Hospitalizations and the number of patients in the ICU both down across the state.
BIRX: For a long, time there were over 50 percent of our cases and 50 percent of our new cases. That has dramatically changed because of the impact of what the citizens of New York and New Jersey and across Connecticut and now Rhode Island are doing to really change the course of this pandemic.
HILL (voice-over): Governor Andrew Cuomo stressing any move forward will require massive testing and the power of the federal government.
ANDREW CUOMO (D), GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK: We have 9 million people we want to get back to work. You need more than several thousand tests per week if this is going to happen anytime soon. If I had a Defense Production Act in the state, I would use it. I would use it. I don't have that tool; the federal government does.
HILL (voice-over): New York City now burying as many as 25 unclaimed bodies each day in a public cemetery on Hart Island to free up desperately needed space in the city's morgues.
In Houston, a potential hot spot, according to the White House task force, the parking lot at Energy Stadium, transformed into an overflow hospital. Experts watching the progression as a former FDA official says the warmer months may offer reprieve.
DR. SCOTT GOTTLIEB, FORMER FDA COMMISSIONER: Hopefully, the fact that we're heading into the summer and the summer should be somewhat of a backstop against transmission of this virus as we head into June, July, August, that is going to help us.
Coronas typically don't circulate in the summertime, so there is a seasonal aspect to coronaviruses generally. This one's so novel that it's likely to continue to transfer into the summer. But drop in transmission becomes less efficient in the really hot, humid months.
HILL (voice-over): Florida's governor, meantime, says he may soon reopen schools, county by county.
GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): We are going to look at the evidence and make a decision. For whatever reason, it just doesn't seem to threaten kids.
HILL (voice-over): Governor DeSantis citing a lack of deaths in his state for those under age 25 though that is not the case nationally.
HILL (voice-over): Sixteen states have already closed schools for the remainder of the academic year, others extending current closures into next month as officials remind those celebrating Easter this weekend, the virus doesn't pause for the holiday.
MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT (D-IL): We have seen people who have been going to church and ignoring the admonitions, ignoring the orders, getting sick, ministers dying. This is deadly serious and you can express your faith in lots of different ways but it can't be by congregating.
HILL (voice-over): For some, simply being home is reason enough to celebrate. In Miami, cheers as two COVID patients are discharged. A similar scene in Louisville.
And from a hospital at the epicenter, a message of strength. Mount Sinai's chief medical officer praising her staff as they mark the end of the beginning, assuring them, quote, "We will prevail."
HILL: The governor of Kentucky on Friday announcing in his state anyone attending a mass gathering over the weekend, their license plate information would be taken down and handed over to the Health Department.
And those individuals will be required to self quarantine for 14 days. The governor saying it is not an act of faith to attend a service in person; it is an act of faith to sacrifice so that you can protect your fellow Americans -- back to you.
HOLMES: New York hospitalizations at least are going down.
How are other U.S. hospitals managing the virus?
Dr. Anish Mahajan, the chief medical officer at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center joins me from Los Angeles.
And thanks for doing so. Let's start with your hospital.
How is it coping?
What are the problems?
What are the fears going forward?
DR. ANISH MAHAJAN, HARBOR-UCLA MEDICAL CENTER: Well, we are in preparation mode. We have planned a ability to triple the capacity to take care of critical care patients and we are seeing a steady increase of COVID-positive patients coming into our hospital and our sister hospital through the Los Angeles region.
HOLMES: Obviously far from over and it's interesting, to that point, "The New York Times" reporting that if the administration lifts the 30 day stay-at-home orders, the death toll could be as high as 200,000 and even if the schools are closed during the summer.
There is plenty of talk the administration is possibly trying to reopen the economy as early as May.
What, as a medical professional, is the risk of premature reopening?
MAHAJAN: We are just at the beginning of this pandemic. We are on the upswing in California. In California, we were fortunate that stay at home, safer at home orders were made in the middle of March. That gave us time in California to get prepared for patients coming in with the illness.
It has lowered the steepness of the curve, it has flattened the curve. The only reason the curve is flatter is because people are staying at home. If we were to lift the stay-at-home order anytime soon, we will see a resurgence in a great number of infections happening rapidly. So it is far too soon to talk about lifting stay-at-home orders.
HOLMES: Does it worry you that it might happen for political reasons?
MAHAJAN: Well, I could just say we have to do what is right for protecting the public and protecting all of us. It is important that people understand that we don't yet have the ability to understand how much infection is out there.
One of the things that we really need to do is develop those antibody tests and if we are trying to understand how much of the population has already had the virus and developed immunity to the virus, until we have data like that, it is far too premature to begin to resume a normal life.
HOLMES: To that very point, despite what we hear from the White House, it does appear that testing is woefully inadequate in terms of testing enough people to know who is asymptomatic but spreading and to possibly do those important links of identifying, isolate and contact trace.
That is still vital to get a grip of where this is and where it is going, right?
MAHAJAN: Absolutely. We need to do a lot more testing than we are doing and we are seeing improvements in the ability to test not only sick people in the hospital but now we are beginning to test people in the community. That will help us understand the spread of the virus and, to your
point, it is very important to isolate people who have the virus, important to help keep people away who may have been exposed. These are public health measures that we have to do more of to be able to control the spread.
HOLMES: I was curious what you thought, you know.
HOLMES: You are in the system.
Do you think this pandemic has exposed some real holes and failures in the public health system?
Not the professionals who are in it but the system itself, things from preparedness to equipment and also, it has to be mentioned that the issue of who is not insured in this country.
I read the words of a doctor today who said they had a patient, he told them he needed a ventilator and the man was gasping for air.
He said who is going to pay for it?
What has coronavirus exposed about the system?
MAHAJAN: In our system, we have inequalities and those inequalities relate to people's access to health care and people's insurance status. The pandemic only exacerbates and magnifies those inequalities.
So what we are seeing is that people who are low income, people who have limited access to health care are disproportionately affected by this virus. They are having worse outcomes because often it is these people who have other chronic health conditions that are not well controlled.
And we know that when a person who has, say, diabetes or asthma or heart disease, gets the virus. It is harder for them to fight it off.
HOLMES: That's a very important point. Those are the people who don't have access for financial reasons, usually, to health care.
We don't know if this will have a seasonal component for sure, correct me if I'm wrong, but the real impacts have been in the Northern Hemisphere.
Do you worry about the impacts in the Southern Hemisphere when the colder months begin and then coming back again in the north?
MAHAJAN: Absolutely. I think we all are learning so much about this novel virus, that there is so much more that we need to know.
At this point, the modeling suggests that we are not necessarily out of the woods in the warmer months, even in the Northern Hemisphere. Modeling suggests here in Southern California, by August, even if we
were to maintain our stay-at-home orders through the summer, some 30 percent of the population is likely to have contracted the virus. So these are large numbers, even through the warmer months.
HOLMES: Sobering but important to know. Dr. Anish Mahajan, thank you so much in Los Angeles. I appreciate it.
MAHAJAN: Thank you.
HOLMES: Britain reported at least 980 coronavirus deaths Friday. The biggest single day jump since the outbreak began. British health officials said the curve is starting to bend but they say the situation is still very dangerous.
Meanwhile, prime minister Boris Johnson is said to be making progress, taking short walks after being moved out of intensive care. He was hospitalized last weekend, 10 days after first testing positive.
CNN's Isa Soares joins us now.
Good to see you. Let's start with the PM and his recovery.
How is it going?
ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, Michael. Good news on that front. The prime minister Boris Johnson is out of intensive care unit. He's doing much better and is back at the ward at St. Thomas Hospital.
He has been taking short walks between periods of rest, which suggests he was in a worse state than we all thought. We know he is making a recovery, is improving and is continuing in good spirits.
He has thanked the technical team and all the staff for the incredible care. But the spokesperson for the prime minister told CNN that this is just the beginning of his recovery.
We know that there's less good news on the number of people dying. We saw the highest daily increase, higher than Italy and Spain. We have seen that London cases have lowered but in the north of England they are increasing.
So we have seen a huge media blitz telling people don't go anywhere because it's going to be incredibly warm and Brits will want to get out. Police have been told, anyone flouting these rules will be severely told to go back home or even fined if they have to.
HOLMES: Yes, the U.K. getting a late start, so they're playing catch- up in many ways. Isa Soares, thanks so much. Good to see you there in London.
The coronavirus putting a strain on many people's livelihoods, of course. How Spain is looking to put some cash in its citizens' hands through a universal basic income. We will have a live report with Al Goodman coming up next.
HOLMES: Welcome back.
E.U. finance ministers may have announced a half trillion euro stimulus package to cushion the economic blow of the coronavirus pandemic. But the Eurogroup president telling CNN the debate over financing has only just begun.
Meanwhile, Spain's health minister warning the country has yet to enter a de-escalation phase. And France reaching a grim milestone as its COVID-19 death toll passes 13,000.
For more, we've got CNN's Cyril Vanier, standing by in Normandy.
And in Spain, journalist Al Goodman in Madrid.
Al, let's start with you. The Spanish health minister making it clear the situation is still very serious.
AL GOODMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's, right Michael. Despite the numbers, the percentage, the rate of increase in the deaths which now approaching 16,000 and in the new cases, the rate of increase is very low on those, for new cases, it is just 0.6 percent. That is very good news.
But the health minister and other officials are saying they're trying to prepare the population that this is going to go on for a while. A lockdown, stay at home order, just extended almost to the end of April. The prime minister saying it could be extended into May, beyond that.
But on Monday, the day after Easter, construction workers and some other workers have been forced to stay off jobs for two weeks are expected to come back. They're going to ramp up the use of metros, look at the station right here, in Madrid and in buses to move these people around during rush hour.
But the health minister is saying two things. If you have any symptoms, stay at home and, once you go out, stay at least a meter, 3 feet, from other people; better, 2 meters -- Michael.
HOLMES: Also, Al, I want to ask you about the economic situation overall, this talk of a basic universal income, perhaps.
GOODMAN: Right, they are calling it now, here, a minimum vital income. The minister for social rights says this is directed at the families who are in desperate need, who couldn't take advantage of the temporary layoff scheme, which allows you to collect unemployment benefits up to 70 percent of your salaries.
These are families that don't have that. The minister is saying they want to avoid the mistakes of the 2008 financial crisis. He said that in 2008, the rescue package was for the banks. This time, he says, the rescue package needs to be for the families -- Michael.
HOLMES: Good to see Al Goodman there in Madrid. Let's go to Cyril Vanier in France.
HOLMES: Bring us up to date, Cyril, on the situation and the outlook there.
CYRIL VANIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Michael, look. We are in the eye of the storm right now. That brings some good news but quite a lot of bad news as well. I will start with the good. It is that we have seen a decrease in the number of people who are in intensive care in France for two days now.
Remember, this is one of the main goals of the lockdown. It is one of the main reasons that people have been under the stay-at-home order for almost a month now. It is to make sure the health system here would not be overwhelmed. It hadn't been under this much stress since World War II.
We now have 7,000 people in intensive care and everybody who has needed a bed has found one and that continues to happen. That is the good news. That is the cause for cautious optimism.
The number of deaths, hospital admissions has leveled off, over the last few days, the bad news, is that it has leveled off at a high level, so we are now experiencing a plateau with about 500-plus deaths in the general population on a daily basis.
Michael, that means one person dies every 2.5 minutes. Think about that. The other bad news is the death toll coming from the nursing homes. They are a small subset of the population but they are the weakest subset of the population, people who are elderly and sick.
The virus, even though nursing homes have been under strict lockdown for three weeks, more than that now, more than a month, in fact, where the virus has entered these establishments it has had an extremely high death toll and it has killed very fast.
Over a third of the national, global death toll in France is actually people who have died in nursing homes. This is the picture as we stand, Michael. The president, Emmanuel Macron, will address the nation on Monday.
And by that time, French people will have been under strict stay-at- home orders for a month. And they are wondering what the marching orders will be going forward.
HOLMES: A lot of people around the world are asking that same question. Cyril Vanier in Normandy and Al Goodman in Madrid, thank you so much.
The coronavirus pandemic presenting an even more dire threat to some of the world's most vulnerable countries. A report from the International Rescue Committee finds that these countries are facing a double emergency. The danger of the virus, that is the medical side of it of course, and also the humanitarian, the economic, the political dangers that could follow.
That means, nations affected by instability, like South Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, they are all facing the highest risk. The medical fallout could be devastating; some of these countries have fewer than 20 ventilators in total.
Joining me now, is Elinor Raikes, the V.P. of international programs for the International Rescue Committee.
Great to have you on, Elinor. It is a very important subject. So much of the focus on COVID-19, of course, has been on the U.S., China, Europe and so on.
But this report, what does it say about those fragile countries, which have not been in the headlines?
ELINOR RAIKES, INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE: Exactly. Thank you for having me. The crisis has been very visible in many of the richer nations here where I am in the U.S., across Europe and, as you said, internationally, the spread has now reached crisis affected countries like South Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen.
And we are really concerned about what we expect to be a catastrophic impact in these countries that are already grappling with other crises, like conflict displacement, food insecurity and so on.
HOLMES: Some of the statistics in the report are frankly terrifying. South Sudan has four ventilators in the entire country; northeastern Syria has 11; Sierra Leone 13 and so on.
What does that say about what will happen if and when there is widespread infection in those sorts of nations?
RAIKES: In the report, we refer to it as a double emergency. It really is trying to explore the multiplying effects of this crisis. For the obvious reason, right, it is a double emergency because the COVID-19 crisis is going to come on top of an existing crisis.
But actually, what we are in anticipation of, is that COVID-19 is going to generate more crisis. It is going to generate more displacement, more food insecurity and, in some places, more conflict.
So we are really concerned about the primary, the direct impact of the coronavirus in these contexts; as you said, countries with very few ventilators and ICU beds, weak health systems across the country and often overcrowded living conditions and poor access to water and sanitation.
[02:25:00] RAIKES: For all of these reasons, the direct impacts are going to be extreme. But it is the secondary impacts that we're concerned about and we think these might actually be much worse and much more longstanding.
HOLMES: Right and I want to come back to this sort of extrapolation part of it in a moment.
But in the nuts and bolts, it is not just ventilators, of course; you touched on this. It is the PPE, the hospital capabilities, it is the broad fragility of the entire health systems in general in so many vulnerable nations before any of this.
If health systems in places like the U.S. and Italy, which have good ones, are stretched, it is again terrifying to think what would happen in those countries.
RAIKES: Absolutely. It is a stark reminder of the need to invest in strengthening health systems in fragile conflict crisis-affected countries around the world and this pandemic has been a reminder that we are only as strong as our weakest health system.
We are also interconnected and now we are seeing this virus spread dramatically across the globe. And when it touches these countries that have these weak health systems, then we are expecting it to escalate very quickly.
HOLMES: There is something I just want to read from the report, I mean, you say that the lesson of the crisis is that the weakest links in the global health chain are a threat to health everywhere.
And meaning that what happens in these vulnerable countries has not just health but security issues globally, right?
RAIKES: I think the global nature of this crisis shows how connected we all are, it shows how quickly -- a pandemic is the most obvious reminder of how connected we all as a global population.
I think, as we see the way that we expect this pandemic to generate more crisis across multiple countries, across multiple continents, that is going to have a really long-lasting impact on all of us.
HOLMES: So what needs to happen?
Especially as developed nations and where, in the U.S., places like the U.S. are still very much focused on their own problems, their own shortages.
What needs to be happening right now to mitigate what is going to happen in these other countries?
RAIKES: As you, say it does have to happen right now. There is a time to act but the window is closing as the virus is spreading and taking hold of these countries. But there is a lot that could be done that we are already doing. The IRC is training health care workers in refugee camps across many countries and installing infection prevention control at health facilities, handwashing stations, (INAUDIBLE) like that that need to be in place.
We need to mitigate risks before this really gets out of hand. We are also doing committee aware campaigns in places like Syria. We have vast networks of community health workers already in place. And we are leveraging those networks to get the message out now about how communities can protect themselves.
HOLMES: There is some grim outlook and hopefully, you know, you could do the work you can do. Elinor Raikes with the International Rescue Community. I appreciate it, thanks for bringing this to light.
RAIKES: Thank you for having me.
HOLMES: South Korea will help start using electronic bracelets to track people who violate that country's quarantine measures. Officials announced they will also add a motion sensor to the mobile apps of violators and conduct random visits.
South Korea reporting more than 100 people have violated quarantine measures so far.
Quick break. U.S. health officials were turning their focus to antibody testing. When we come back, we will find out what this could mean in the fight against the coronavirus.
HOLMES: Welcome back.
U.S. officials say that they expect an antibody test for the coronavirus to be available soon. These tests, of course, can tell if a person has been infected and if their body has built up immunity. CNN chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, takes a look at what that could mean in the fight against the pandemic.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): According to the Coronavirus Task Force, more than 2 million tests have now been performed in the United States. And yet there are still people who need to be tested, such as health care workers, who can't get one.
It's part of the reason there is now so much interest in a different kinds of test, an antibody test.
Dr. Fauci told CNN on Friday it's coming soon.
FAUCI: I'm certain that that's going to happen, that within a period of a week or so, we're going to have a rather large number of tests that are available.
GUPTA: But what exactly are antibodies? They are proteins in the immune system that develop days after someone has been infected.
And it's the antibodies that make someone immune to becoming reinfected. It means two things. You were previously infected and you are now likely to be protected, at least for a while.
STEPHEN HAHN, COMMISSIONER, FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION: We think it'll be a tool to help us get people back to work. It'll be additional information, because, as you know, if you have an antibody, that means you were exposed and have recovered from it. That, with the information about diagnosis, should help.
GUPTA: That's why public health agencies around the world want these antibody tests, because it could help some people get back to their daily lives.
You remember the swab test we're all familiar with. Well, that tests for the virus itself, specifically its genetic material. The problems are, first of all, at some point after you recover, that test will be negative.
And, secondly, a lot of people have had trouble getting that diagnostic test in the first place. The antibody test is more definitive. There are only a few reasons you would have antibodies in your blood. You got someone else's antibodies by an injection of their blood, you got a vaccine, which teaches your body to make antibodies, or you were infected.
The antibody test requires a sample of your blood and this strip, which has proteins from the virus on it. If your blood reacts to that strip, it means you have antibodies in your blood.
BIRX: And I think really being able to tell them -- the peace of mind that would come from knowing you already were infected, you have antibody, you're safe from reinfection 99.9 percent of the time.
And so this, I think, would be very reassuring to our frontline health care workers.
GUPTA (voice-over): Another benefit of antibody testing, surveillance. In places like Miami-Dade County, Florida; Santa Clara County, California and Telluride, Colorado, they've already started using antibody tests to get a better sense of how many people, many of whom will be surprised to learn have already been exposed to the virus.
LOU RESSE, CHIEF OFFICER, UNITED NEUROSCIENCE: Whoever volunteers is getting tested twice and the purpose of that is to see whose seroconverts and develops the antibodies, meaning who was actively infected during this period of quarantine.
GUPTA: A CDC spokesperson told CNN the agency has already used these tools to, quote, monitor contacts of infected people and to identify individuals who, due to mild infection, may have not known they were infected. Getting the antibody tests up and running, much like the tests to detect the virus itself, have been challenging. In a rush to get these tests to market, the FDA lowered regulatory standards. And what followed were a lot of unreliable and inaccurate tests.
BIRX: There's a series of antibody tests out there that have not been validated. Some of the tests that may be available on the Internet may have very low sensitivity and specificity and give you a fall reassurance, that you either -- give you a false positive or a false negative, implying that you may be protected.
HOLMES: That was CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta there.
Now Italy says it is close to having its own approved coronavirus antibody test and it is hoping that will help people who have had the virus recover and develop antibodies. Those people could then donate plasma to treat people who are sick. Barbie Nadeau is in Rome for us.
Barbie, tell us more about this test and the plans for it.
BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You, know they are starting already in two regions in the north of the country, these are two provinces that really were hard hit in the beginning of this outbreak.
And they are testing nurses, doctors and other health care workers with the idea that those people would have what they are calling an immunity license and would allow them to feel more secure at least when they are treating patients.
Then, they are going to roll this out nationwide. They tell us, maybe within the next 10, days and people would be able to get this test and understand if they had been infected. That will help kickstart the economy, which is what everybody has their mind on right now.
HOLMES: Absolutely. You and I have spoken the last couple of weeks, a couple of times about a growing restiveness in some parts of the country, people pushing back on this forced isolation.
Is that still an issue?
NADEAU: It is an issue, especially this weekend. This is Easter weekend, a time when many people would be joining their family members and friends, going to the beach. It is beautiful weather. It is going to be really hard to keep people in.
And they have had a number of arrests and people given citations and fining up to 3,000 euro if you break the lockdown. We have seen those numbers increase.
We have been told, here in Rome, that the police will be out in full force, including helicopters and drones to make sure people aren't partying on the rooftops. And people are, you know, adhering to the lockdown, which so far is seeming to be working.
HOLMES: Barbie Nadeau in, Rome as always. Thanks, good to see you.
We will take a quick break and come back. With so many people staying home due to the pandemic, at least one thing has gotten much more. Clear the air. And some people are seeing sights they have not seen in decades. We will have more on that, next.
HOLMES: France is celebrating Good Friday by holding a liturgy at an empty St. Peter's Basilica. Traditionally, there are also, of course, Stations of the Cross at the Colosseum, thousands of people turn out for that.
But they were moved to St. Peter's Square due to the health crisis. The pope has being praying for priests who have died during the coronavirus pandemic, calling them saints next door.
This is a fascinating story. People in northern India are getting a fresh look at the Himalayan mountains thanks to a reduction, a big one, in air pollution.
For the first time in decades, residents of Punjab, India, can actually see the towering mountain range. You see it there off in the distance. The nation has been under lockdown for more than two weeks now and that has already had a dramatic effect on air quality.
HOLMES: One resident said he could see the peaks from more than 100 miles away. There's been a worldwide trend of decreasing air pollution since the lockdown began.
HOLMES: Thanks for spending part of your day with us. I'm Michael Holmes, "MARKETPLACE AFRICA" up next. I will see you in about 15 minutes or more.