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Hala Gorani Tonight
Coronavirus Response Increasingly Impacting World Travel, Commerce; Elizabeth Warren Ends Campaign Without Endorsement; New Cruise Ship near San Francisco Identifies Coronavirus Case; Iran Launches Mobilization Plan as Infections Soar; Ceasefire Due to Take Effect in Syria's Idlib Within Hours; Violence Erupts at Turkish-Greek Border; Experts: Vaccine Will Take At Least A Year to Make. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired March 05, 2020 - 14:00 ET
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MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. Live from CNN in Atlanta I'm Michael Holmes.
Coming up tonight, countries ramp up efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak as global cases surge, impacting everyday life for millions around
Plus, another candidate drops out of the U.S. presidential race for 2020, leaving just two main Democrats bracing for a showdown.
And Turkey and Russia work to secure a temporary ceasefire in northwestern Syria.
Welcome, everyone. As the coronavirus spreads, it is disrupting nearly every aspect of public life in dozens of countries, affecting far more than
the thousands of people who have been actually infected.
UNESCO says almost 300 million schoolchildren have missed school because of closures. They say that is a figure without precedent. The tourism industry
is taking massive hits across Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Museums and parks are closed, sporting events cancelled and several governments are
urging their citizens not to travel at all.
Fear over the virus is even touching religious life, cancelling public Friday prayers in Iran and pilgrimages to Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.
Christiane Amanpour has more.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR (voice-over): This is the bridge that leads to the epicenter of China's coronavirus outbreak. It
is nearly empty. Traffic in and out of Hubei Province remains restricted. On the other side of the Yangtze River, some residents remain wary of those
ZHENG WEIQI, STORE OWNER (through translator): I'm afraid that the people from Hubei Province will come over, like people I don't know. If they're
people I've known, it doesn't matter. People I don't know are not allowed to come into my store.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Across China, where more than 3,000 people have died from the virus, the rate of new infections is continuing to slow. But
in other Asian countries like Japan, it's getting worse, prompting China's president Xi Jinping to postpone his much-anticipated visit to Tokyo.
YOSHIHIDE SUGA, CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY OF JAPAN (through translator): The task at hand for both countries is to contain the spread of new
coronavirus. There is a need to prioritize this.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): South Korea remains one of the worst-affected countries in Asia. Amid a shortage of face masks, the government is banning
their export now and restricting how many each customer can buy at home.
KIM YONG-BEOM, VICE FINANCE MINISTER OF SOUTH KOREA (through translator): We will limit the number of purchases to two masks per week. We know it's
not enough, and even this is not guaranteed.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Korea's main airline is now spraying disinfectant through its plane while other countries like Australia closed their borders
to South Korean travelers.
SCOTT MORRISON, PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA: We believe that affords the best protection, and will enable us to, as has always been our objective,
to slow down the rate of transmission --
AMANPOUR (voice-over): In the Middle East, Iran remains the worst-affected country with more than 100 coronavirus-related deaths. For a second week in
a row, Friday prayers have been cancelled in major cities, schools have been shut down and authorities here are also spraying public places with
disinfectant. The government, though, is urging calm.
AYATOLLAH ALI KHAMENEI, SUPREME LEADER OF IRAN (through translator): Of course, I don't want to minimize the issue, but let's not make it too big.
It will not be in the country for long, and then it will fall apart.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): In Europe, there's been a marked acceleration in the spread of the virus in many countries, notably in Switzerland and
Germany. Most cases can be traced back to the outbreak in Italy, where schools and universities remain closed as authorities try to curb its
spread even further.
As governments across the world scramble to put into place countermeasures for the virus, many businesses are already counting the costs. Airlines say
falling passenger numbers could result in the industry taking a $100 billion-plus hit.
BRIAN PEARCE, CHIEF ECONOMIST, INTERNATIONAL AIR TRANSPORT ASSOCIATION: This would be a revenue shock equivalent to what was seen in the global
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Even Hollywood is affected. The latest James Bond film, due to be released in April, has been postponed until the end of the
year amid concerns the outbreak could affect ticket sales.
Christiane Amanpour, CNN, London.
HOLMES: Well, what would you like to know about the coronavirus? Send your questions to us, CNN.com and CNN's Anderson Cooper, Dr. Sanjay Gupta will
help answer them for you from our "GLOBAL TOWN HALL" on "FACTS AND FEARS" about the coronavirus, that's Friday morning, 11:00 a.m. in Hong Kong. It
will replay again, 10:00 a.m. in Berlin.
Now, as our Christiane Amanpour mentioned there moments ago, the outbreak is having a major impact on the business world. U.S. stocks again, gyrating
wildly, this time, downwards, investors nervous, unsure how much of an impact the virus will have on the global economy.
We do know that the airline industry is being hit particularly hard. Plunging demand for flights could cost airlines more than $100 billion, as
you can see there. Regional British airline Flybe shut down on Thursday, grounding all of its flights as it goes out of business. And Lufthansa
announced it would cancel more than 7,000 flights across Europe during March, mostly routes within Germany or to Italy.
CNN business editor at large Richard Quest, the host of "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS," joins us now. I mean, just seeing those financial markets
bouncing around, speak about what damage is being done to the airline industry in particular.
RICAHRD QUEST, CNN EDITOR AT LARGE: It's very deep, it's very serious and it'll have medium-term implications. The airlines had been profitable, but
that was already starting to evaporate, the profitability.
The truth is that when you've got the world's largest carriers, like United Airlines, saying that they will cut 20 percent of international flight,
they'll make drastic cuts on the U.S. domestic flights. You've got Cathay Pacific having cut nearly three-quarter flights.
Now, let's start to extrapolate that and widen it through the economy. You've got people being laid off, you've got people not being hired, you've
got contracts that will not be fulfilled, you've got people not traveling, that reduces hotels, expenditure. And again, in hotel -- and so it goes on,
And it's not just this. It's also the supply chains that are also being dramatically disrupted by what we're seeing. You've got major conferences
not being held. When you get ITB cancelled, think again of the losses because of that.
Michael, we're getting to the point where the level of economic disruption and market dislocation, volatility is so great, it gets very difficult to
avoid some form of recession.
HOLMES: All right. Richard, thanks very much. Richard Quest there, reporting for us on what has been a tumultuous run in the business world.
Of course, health is of paramount concern. Thank you, Richard.
Health experts in Japan, worried that the country's official number of coronavirus cases is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Japan has
reported more than a thousand infections, about 700 of those coming from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which of course was quarantined in
Yokohama for weeks. Officials are facing international scrutiny now for how they handled the outbreak on that ship.
And now, other experts say Japan's policies and cuts to health care are putting the public at great risk. Will Ripley is in Tokyo for us. Bring us
up to date on the impacts there.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there's a few different things that we're following here. Number one, the fact that Japan was investing tens of
billions of dollars in the Olympics, but at the same time slashing the budget and personnel every single year for the people who right now could
be conducting coronavirus tests.
You know, Japan has conducted a tiny fraction of the tests compared to other countries in the region. South Korea can conduct up to 10,000 a day;
Japan has conducted around 8,000 tests during this entire crisis. So as a result, you now have experts -- even people working for the government --
saying that here in Japan, for every test that we know about, there could be 10 cases of coronavirus that we don't know about.
RIPLEY (voice-over): Around the world, novel coronavirus infections are hovering around 100,000. In Japan, confirmed cases just topped 1,000, the
vast majority linked to the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
A growing number of infectious disease experts believe the actual numbers in Japan are significantly higher.
HIROSHI NISHIURA, EPIDEMIOLOGIST, HOKKAIDO UNIVERSITY: That represents only the tip of the iceberg of all the infected individuals. And that's
likely to be less than 10 percent.
RIPLEY (voice-over): Japanese epidemiologist Hiroshi Nishiura says, that means for every confirmed case of coronavirus, as many as 10 cases go
The Japanese Health Ministry tells CNN, "We understand there are people we have not detected... We think how and who should be given priority for
testing is most important."
Japan is testing a tiny fraction when compared to other countries in the region. People showing symptoms must self-quarantine for four days before
they even qualify for a test.
I think tens of thousands of people are potentially infected, says Japanese lawmaker Tomoko (ph) Tomura (ph).
RIPLEY: Is the Japanese government deliberately trying to keep the number of confirmed cases low?
RIPLEY (voice-over): There is talk here in Japan that the government doesn't want a high number, she says. But I'd rather believe the situation
is happening because the government has not established a good testing system.
The Health Ministry tells CNN, "We are aware many people want to take the test." The ministry is "expanding the target range" to include people
showing "mild symptoms." But does Japan even have the testing capacity after years of budget cuts?
Tomura (ph) has been a vocal critic of the Japanese government's decision to dramatically downsize its National Institute of Infectious Diseases,
slashing its budget and personnel for more than a decade.
This is a dangerous situation, Tomura (ph) says.
RIPLEY: A lot of people would look at that chart and think, it makes absolutely no sense for the Japanese government to cut funding when you're
going to have visitors and potentially diseases coming into the country in a matter of months.
RIPLEY (voice-over): Scary, it's scary, she says. These cuts have created a critical situation.
Those cuts, even as Japan spends tens of billions of dollars preparing to host the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics.
Dr. Mashahiro Kami says the games should be called off.
RIPLEY: Do you think there's any chance to safely hold the Olympics here in Japan?
MASHAHIRO KAMI, JAPANESE MEDICAL GOVERNANCE RESEARCH INSTITUTE: The Olympics should be postponed to next year. This year it is impossible
because coronavirus will become a pandemic in the world.
RIPLEY (voice-over): Tokyo 2020 organizers and the International Olympic Committee say they remain confident the games will go on in late July as
planned. That's assuming Olympic teams and spectators still want to go. But they won't rule out postponing the Olympics if the outbreak intensifies,
putting lives at risk.
RIPLEY: And there could be potentially a lot of lives at risk here in Japan because this is an aging society, Michael. A lot of people are over
the age of 60, a lot of people have pre-existing conditions, the exact high-risk group that is most vulnerable to coronavirus.
So when you have this suspected large number of undetected cases in a place like Japan, and you have health experts saying that this is going to be a
pandemic by summer, it really is hard to imagine how they go forward with the Olympics here, even though the officials are saying that that is their
plan as of right now.
HOLMES: Massive concern, massive disruption to things like that. Will, good to have you there. Will Ripley for us there in Tokyo.
And we are very keen to hear how what you know, and to make sure you know what is fact and fiction on all of the news, but especially of course
coronavirus. Now, what you can do is subscribe, and of course listen to our podcast. CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, will make
sense of the headlines as only he can. He'll speak with the experts and give you all of the information you need to stay safe and healthy.
Well, the field of candidates vying to replace U.S. President Donald Trump is getting smaller, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, the latest to drop out
of the presidential race following disappointing finishes in the primary contests.
Once in the top tier, her path to the Democratic nomination has been narrowing. She had lackluster results on Super Tuesday, including a third-
place finish in her home state of Massachusetts. Warren, explaining her decision a short time ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): I was told when I first got into this, there are two lanes. And I thought it was possible that that wasn't the case,
that there was more room and -- more room to run another kind of campaign. But evidently that wasn't the case.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Now, the two lanes Warren references there are the top Democrats still in the race, the centrist former vice president, Joe Biden, and
progressive Senator Bernie Sanders.
CNN's Abby Phillip joins me now from Washington to talk more about it. I guess in many ways, given the results, not entirely unexpected. But the
political question for the Democratic candidates who remain is, what does she do next?
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. And Warren made it very clear that she wanted more time to decide that, that she was going to
take her time to evaluate the situation, and frankly to recover from this campaign before moving forward with that.
But part of the problem for her -- and what makes this so tough -- is that there is no easy box for her to fit her campaign and perhaps her supporters
in. And she alluded to that -- to that in the clip that you just played, where essentially, she ran a campaign where she cobbled together a
coalition of several different ideological groups including moderates and more progressive liberals.
And there's -- there are some real questions today about where exactly those people go. Bernie Sanders has made it very clear, he would love to
have Warren's support. But it's also not clear that a majority of her supporters would even back Bernie Sanders.
And at the same time, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren spoke yesterday by phone, but he -- and of course, he would probably love to have Warren back
him as well, as many of the other candidates did. But again, Warren has some different political views than Biden, especially on issues like
Medicare for All.
So it's a real question whether or not she wants to hitch her horse to that particular wagon, and how she deals with this is going to be really
important as we go forward. It's also a question whether she even endorses at all. It's possible she could not endorse, and hold onto her political
cards until we head into a convention.
HOLMES: Yes, as complicating as that would be. What does it say about the field and what voters are saying, when two old white male -- older white
males -- are the last ones standing?
PHILLIP: They are clearly saying that all of these other considerations -- whether or not they want a woman to be president, whether or not they want
more diversity in the country to be reflected in their politics -- those are all secondary to one thing which is, who do they think has the best
chance of beating Donald Trump?
And I think that's what has been, for some Democrats, disappointing about this election cycle. But voters have spoken, and they've spoken fairly
clearly. Warren was in this race in Super Tuesday, and she had the organization, she had the money and she had a mix of messages that probably
should have done a lot better than she did.
And ultimately, what voters seemed to be saying with the results in Super Tuesday, was that they believe this field needs to be narrowed down, and
that it needs to be narrowed down to a progressive and a more centrist candidate. And going forward, they believe that it's either Biden or it's
Sanders who has the best chance of defeating Trump.
Why they believe that, I mean, I think when you talk to voters, they're all looking at what they think is going to happen in November, who can reach
the voters who Trump won in the middle of the country, who can build a coalition of racially diverse Democratic voters.
And I think that's one of the reasons in particular, why you saw a bit of a bounce-back for Joe Biden. He demonstrated in South Carolina, he could
reach black voters like none of the other candidates could. And he benefited greatly from that performance by the time he got to Super
HOLMES: Yes, indeed. I mean, it'd be interesting to see if Elizabeth Warren plays the role of mediator between the progressive and moderate
wings of the party come the convention, because they might need to be some fence-mending done. Abby, good to see you. Thanks for that. Abby Phillip
there in Washington.
And we will take a short break. When we come back tonight, the first person to die of coronavirus in California was on that ship on your screen, two
weeks ago. And now, 21 people on board are showing symptoms.
Also when we come back, we'll talk to an expert physician. You don't want to hear -- miss his thoughts on how the coronavirus is being handled. We'll
be right back.
HOLMES: Welcome back. The United States is facing a countrywide spread of coronavirus, 17 states now confirming cases and 205 people infected. The
West Coast has been hardest hit, all 11 deaths have occurred in California or Washington State.
The governor of California, declaring a state of emergency on Wednesday following the state's first death, a recent passenger on the Grand Princess
cruise ship. Well, now 21 people on board that ship are showing symptoms, and it is stuck off the coast until about 100 more people are tested.
Let's get the latest on this from CNN's Dan Simon in San Francisco, where the Grand Princess is waiting to dock. And we all saw what happened on the
Diamond Princess in Japan, what's the latest with this ship and the plans for the passengers?
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, hi, Michael. Not a great way to end your two-week vacation, sailing to the Hawaiian islands. Right now, this
ship is basically parked off the coast of San Francisco until medical officials can get on board and do some testing, see if people have the
coronavirus and understand what they're dealing with. And it's going to remain offshore until they figure out if in fact coronavirus is on this
We should point out that there was a previous voyage where at least three people tested positive for the virus, and 60 of those folks who were on the
last cruise, they're on this cruise. And they're now confined to the rooms. They're going to be tested along with those 21 other people you mentioned,
passengers and crewmembers who have some symptoms.
But I can tell you, I've been texting with people on board, and people are feeling anxious because they really don't know what's in store for them.
They don't know if they're going to be dealing with some type of mass quarantine situation, like what we saw with their sister ship in Japan --
HOLMES: All right, Dan, thanks so much. Dan Simon, keeping an eye on that angle of the story in San Francisco.
Let's continue the conversation, though. Joining me now is Dr. James Phillips, assistant professor of emergency medicine at George Washington
University. Great to have your expertise on this, you are an expert in emergency preparedness and disaster medicine.
What are your thoughts on what the U.S. should be doing versus what it is doing?
JAMES PHILLIPS, ASSITANT PROFESSOR, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: Well, that's a tough question because there's so many different parts that
go into preparation. And, you know, this isn't new. We've been dealing with pandemics and different types of disasters globally and in our country for,
you know, hundreds of years.
We started our preparation for this sort of thing, you know, well over a hundred years ago, following the Spanish flu. And we try to take the
lessons learned from each different episode of viral outbreak. In particular, you know, for this one, there's been a lot of talk about the
testing that has now fortunately starting to become more ubiquitous throughout the United States.
But the main focus I think that we need to be paying attention to right now is trying to harden our existing infrastructure from a medical standpoint.
HOLMES: Yes, testing obviously, critical. You don't know how bad it is unless you're testing. And you know, other countries are testing 10,000
people a day. The U.S., nowhere near that.
Let's talk about the mortality issue, which has become, you know, a bit of a talker at the moment. You had the president disputing the World Health
Organization numbers. Let people listen to what he had to say, let's play that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think the 3.4 percent is really a false number. Now, this is just my hunch and -- but based on a lot
of conversations with a lot of people that do this, because a lot of people will have this, and it's very mild. They will get better very rapidly. They
don't even see a doctor...
We have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work, some of them go to
work... Personally I'd say the number is way under one percent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: I mean, what do you make of this situation, where the president calls the World Health Organization number a false number based on a hunch.
I mean, what is the balance between reassurance and, frankly, underplaying the risks?
PHILLIPS: Well, I think people need to listen to the scientific experts who are discussing this. The physicians that are on -- and the scientists
and physicians that are on the Coronavirus Task Force, for our federal government, are incredible, they're fantastic. And if you listen to what
they're saying, you'll get the message.
We are uncertain of the mortality rate of this right now. You can read the studies that have come out of China, there are certainly tons of
publications that will be coming in a scientific journal soon. But until we know the true extent of the asymptomatic and minimally symptomatic
patients, we don't know the true -- the true denominator.
HOLMES: Right. If the numbers do grow exponentially, is the U.S. equipped to handle perhaps thousands of emergency room or ICU cases? And do health
workers have the protection they need?
PHILLIPS: We're working on both things. So we've been studying what we call surge capacity for a long time. It's one of the major tenets of
disaster medicine, which is what some of us emergency physicians choose to sort of study as our subspecialty.
And so we've developed plans and changed those plans and revised them for years based on the type of emergency that we expect to see. Now oftentimes,
usually, that is based on a surge of sudden patients from a tornado, like what happened in Tennessee recently; a bombing or a mass shooting, where we
have all of that -- all of that patient surge within a few minutes.
Now, a prolonged mass casualty incident, like I would refer this to as, that's a lot more complex because those patients may stay in the hospital
for longer. And as you mentioned, of particular concern is the need for intensive care beds.
PHILLIPS: But we know how many ICU beds we have, and we're working to bolster that.
HOLMES: You -- and very quickly before we let you go, I mean, you wrote a great article on CNN.com -- I urge people to read it -- making some very
good points, including the fact that you think it's inevitable you will get it. And that speaks to the issue of protecting health workers.
PHILLIPS: Thank you. And I'm obviously going to try really hard not to get it. But the proximity to the virus that I think all emergency providers --
doctors, nurses, paramedics, all of us -- will have, puts us at great risk. And the important thing is that we have the equipment that we need to
And then trying to figure out when we do get infected, how do we stay in the fight? What are the means by which we can still be helpful to society
and still treat patients despite being potentially contagious.
HOLMES: Again, great article on CNN.com by Dr. James Phillips there, check it out. Thank you so much, Doctor, appreciate your time.
PHILLIPS: Really appreciate it, thank you.
HOLMES: All right, the U.S. Senate has just overwhelmingly passed an emergency funding plan for coronavirus. The package earmarks around $8
billion for responding to the virus. It was passed by the U.S. House yesterday, and President Donald Trump is expected to sign it.
We'll take a short break. On the other side, coronavirus numbers soaring in Iran: the new steps being taken to tackle the country's epidemic. That's
And then later, coronavirus cases in China, finally starting to slow down. A WHO senior advisor joins us to explain why.
HOLMES: Welcome back to the program everyone. The number of coronavirus cases in hard hit Iran is shooting up rapidly. All 31 of the country's
provinces now have cases with the highest numbers reported in Tehran, the Capitol.
Authorities have announced the slew of new measures to try to curb the illness, including a national mobilization plan and a self-assessment Web-
Iran says it's also working on a vaccine and will soon produce coronavirus test kits. But those won't come soon enough for some.
A word of warning, our next report contains images many will find disturbing. The CNN's Sam Kiley on what Iranian morgues are facing as the
virus grips the country.
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Grim ranks of the unburied clatter the floor of an Iranian morgue. Some of the coronavirus'
victims have to be treated with line before burial, but those believe not to be infected can be entered and solid. And according to tradition here in
the holy city of Qom.
ALI RAMEZANI, DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS, BEHESHT-E MASOUMEH MORGUE (through translator): What we are dealing with is how to handle the bodies of
coronavirus victims versus non coronavirus victims, as the instructions for burial are different for each.
KILEY: The test take time, delaying burials and straining the city's facilities.
RAMEZANI: This is the reason for the pileup.
KILEY: With around 3,000 known infections and over 90 deaths from the epidemic. Iranian authorities have begun screening for more infections in
Qom, the worst hit city after the capital Tehran.
This mosque will be empty for Friday prayers for the second week in a row. The weekly services have been banned in cities across the country. 300,000
extra health workers have been drafted in to deal with Iran's expanding epidemic. Citizens are instructed on how to avoid infection. Public
transport hose down with disinfectant.
Under U.S. sanctions, Iran's oil industry and banking system have been crippled, making even humanitarian goods hard to come by. There are fears
that Iran may also be underestimating the scale of the epidemic it faces.
The Supreme Leader though, keen to dispel such anxieties.
AYATOLLAH ALI KHAMENEI, SUPREME LEADER OF IRAN (through translator): This outbreak did not just happen in our country, you know, and I've heard that
it's happening in many countries today. The difference is that many countries have kept it hidden. Our officials have been informing the public
since the first day with confidence, honesty and transparency.
But some other countries are hiding the fact that the disease is more severe and more widespread.
KILEY: Perhaps, but across the Middle East, Iran is being seen as a springboard for infection into other countries. And there are a few if any
signs that the epidemic is being brought under control here.
Sam Kiley, CNN Abu Dhabi.
HOLMES: And let's talk now to Dr. Bruce Aylward a senior adviser to the director of the WHO about the global response. Dr. Aylward joins us now via
Skype and appreciate you doing so.
I think South Africa officially became the ITF country with cases. Has coronavirus gone past containment and into mitigation now?
DR. BRUCE AYLWARD, SENIOR ADVISER TO THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL, WHO (via Skype): No, definitely not, Michael. If you look at the situation that we saw, I
was on the ground in China for two weeks. And we saw a wide range of different scenarios there, a few cases to clusters to communitywide
transmission. And in every one of those settings, they were able to turn it around. That's probably one of the most important messages we took out of
HOLMES: So speak to that further and speak to what China eventually at least did right in terms of containment and what other countries should be
doing? Bearing in mind, of course, China can shut down cities and other countries cannot. What more should other countries be doing?
AYLWARD: Well, the important thing in China is that they did not shut down cities after the first couple. You know, there's 31 provinces in China, the
first one they had to do that, in the other ones they learned and they did everything possible not to end up in that situation.
The key thing is that they did was they focused on the cases, the people who actually had the infection, whether mild or severe cases, finding them
as rapidly as possible, getting them isolated, finding their close contacts, because five to 10 percent of them were going to develop the
disease and then trying to cut the transmission change.
And then they graduated the response, they added other things on where it was getting further out of control to bring it back into containment. But
it was a very systematic and rigorous application in general of what are really standard approaches. A lot of which actually was developed in the
HOLMES: Right. I want to play a comment for people there from the director of the WHO, the Director General, let's have a listen to him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS, DIRECTOR GENERAL, WHO: We have considered that some countries have either not taken this seriously enough or have
decided there is nothing they can do.
We're concerned that in some countries, the level of political commitment and the actions that demonstrate that commitment do not match the level of
the threat we all face. This is not a drill.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: It's a -- it's a -- it's a very sobering a comment. Do you -- do you see that in some areas there is perhaps a fingers crossed approach? I
mean, how do you strike that balance between reassurance and ensuring there is no complacency?
AYLWARD: Well, you know, the striking thing for me when I came back to Europe out of -- out of China was just the fundamental difference in the
perspective of leadership.
In China, every governor, every mayor I talked to and I said, what are you doing next as the cases were falling? They said we're buying ventilators,
we're building beds because this can come back.
And then coming back to Europe, there was a sense of this is like the flu, it's a mild disease, it may not even come here. And that, it is such a
fundamental difference in mindset that you have got to expect to this disease and you've got to be able to move very, very quickly to get a jump
HOLMES: Are you concerned at all about health systems becoming overwhelmed not just with the sick, the very sick, but perhaps the kind of sick who
insists on being seen? What's your advice to people who shows symptoms?
AYLWARD: Well, the first thing, it shouldn't be my advice, this has to be the advice of your local authorities. And the local authorities have to
figure out a way to make sure number one, people know what to look for. Because some people think it's a cold or runny nose, it's not. High fever,
And then they need to be able to know where to call and then how to get tested and how to get tested safely so they don't end up infecting an
emergency room or a GPs office.
So any barriers in any environment, any setting to getting it a rapid task, rapid information and then if necessary, isolated, the local officials have
to look at that and make sure it works.
I can give advice from here but reality is going to be context specific. It depends on how your health system is set up and how your population
HOLMES: Yes, fair enough. To Dr. Bruce Aylward with the WHO, thank you so much.
AYLWARD: You're welcome.
HOLMES: All right, still ahead on the program, new hope tonight for civilians paying the price of an escalating war in Syria's last rebel
stronghold. We'll tell you about a ceasefire deal due to take effect in just a few hours. We'll be right back.
HOLMES: The U.K. High Court has issued a ruling against Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The judgment published on Thursday
says the Sheikh conducted a sustained campaign of fear, intimidation and harassment against his former wife Princess Haya bint Al Hussein.
The court says such behavior is provable through the Sheikh's previous conduct, including orchestrating the kidnapping and false return of two of
CNN has reached out to Sheikh Mohammed's office but the Dubai ruler has yet to respond to CNN about the information revealed in the court documents.
A ceasefire is due to take effect in just hours in Syria's Idlib province in an effort to ease one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world. The
presidents of Russia and Turkey agreed to the terms a short while ago, after marathon talks in Moscow. They are on different sides of this
conflict with Turkey fighting against Russian backed Syrian forces trying to retake the last rebel stronghold.
But President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says they're on the same page when it comes to protecting civilians.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, TURKISH PRESIDENT (through translator): The ceasefire deal will be effective as of midnight. In terms of making it lasting, all
necessary actions will be taken fast and efficiently. Our goal is to prevent the worsening of the humanitarian crisis in the region.
We will work together to supply aid for all the Syrians in need without any precondition or discrimination.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: The fighting in Idlib has absolutely devastated the civilian population, nearly a million people who have fled their homes in just the
last several months, while those who remain behind are obviously risking their lives doing so.
Have a look at these satellite images which really say it all is that before and after picture of a town in Idlib province. On the left, that's
what it looked like in July 2018. On the right, after a fierce government assault, the town appears a wasteland in May of this year, just
Let's get more on this new ceasefire agreement. Now CNN's Arwa Damon is following these developments from Hatay in Turkey near the Syrian border.
Arwa, certainly you've been covering this all along certainly welcome news and the short term, what will it mean for those on the ground? And
importantly, what the outlook is for them?
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Michael, short term is very much the operative word there because this ceasefire is not really any
different than previously negotiated ceasefires, all of which were very quickly broken.
If we look at what we know about this deal, the front lines basically freeze exactly where they are, there are going to be joint patrols, but
there are no details about what is going to actually guarantee that the ceasefire holds or what kind of mechanisms are going to be put into place
to ensure that this moves towards a more sustainable solution.
What people inside Idlib are so desperately craving is not just to go home, but to also be able to build a life where every single day is not defined
by whether or not they've been able to somehow avoid death.
DAMON: The children's smiles belie the depth of their common. The school is one of many sheltering the displaced. The blaring music temporarily
drowning out the sounds of the explosions on the front line just a 15 minute drive away. Even at their tender age, they know death can come in an
Darrah is trying to have fun, gingerly keeping her weight off her injured foot.
I was eating an apple with my sister and then the rocket hit us, she remembers. I looked and I could only see dust and blood.
That strike happened a week ago at the school just next door, where the Darrah's family along with others were living. A rocket slammed into the
school yard, killing seven children and wounding many more.
Darrah's father shows us her bandaged foot grateful his daughter is still alive, agonizing over how he is supposed to even protect his children.
I am used to the sounds of the planes heading, Darrah says. But since we got hit, I'm scared of it.
They've been training the kids on what to do if they hear explosions of the bombings come close. So one is shelter in place and then the other though
is to follow the arrows painted on the walls to go towards the bunker.
It's not a real bunker, just a room underground that used to store the now dust covered schoolbooks.
Disguise outside the town are painted with districts of fighter jets.
In the early hours the next morning, a chicken farm being used to house the displaced was decimated, crushing many of those who sheltered their and
their sleep, including children.
Hospitals are overwhelmed dealing not only with illnesses and disease, but the constant flow of the wounded. There is no sanctity here least of all
for civilian life.
In the last month, Turkey has upped its military involvement, battering regime positions.
This group of fighters meet closely to the front is mostly made up of young men who were in high school when Syria's revolution turned into a war.
The Turkish presence is preventing the regime from advancing on the ground, 26 year old Abusad says. Our fight is about defending the population, my
wife, my children.
But how to truly protect this population? It's not really in these fighters control, it's in Turkey and Russia's hands. They, the main two powers
bartering for it Idlib's fate.
No matter what is negotiated. There have been too many promises, too many broken ceasefires, too many sham agreements. Pain haunts every street.
Hid son died right here. That's still his blood on the wall.
Mohammed was just 12. His older brother tells us they ran when they saw the plane, but Mohammed didn't make it.
I tried to pick him up but I couldn't, Husain remembers. Mohammed died in his arms.
Even celebrations are bittersweet. These women are shopping for dresses for their relatives wedding. But it won't be a lavish affair.
If not the sort of happiness where you invite everyone, the groom's sister tells us. It will be small with immediate family. There's just too much
misery and fear that a big crowd will get bombed.
Since December, around a million have been displaced, cramming into any empty space they can find even this person. The families who are asleep
with their clothes on not knowing when they might need to run out.
Mareen's father was killed fighting years ago.
He used to play a lot with us when he was alive, she remembers.
As we leave, we come across what's known as the graveyard camp. For even the dead are displaced, buried as close as possible to the border with
Turkey. And the hopes that at least they can rest in peace.
HOLMES: Another important piece of reporting from Arwa Damon. I mean, schools bombed, hospitals bombed are stunning lack of accountability above
all else. You have contacts inside Idlib, the ceasefire, you've been in touch with them. What did -- what did they tell you?
DAMON: Michael, there's a lot of anger. There's a lot of people who feel as if -- you know, they've been sold out. But at the end of the day, if the
last nine years have proven anything to them is that their lives are just part of a pile of bargaining chips that are on the table between the
various different powers that are actually the ones maneuvering the chess pieces on this board game that has become the struggle for Syria and
especially now for Idlib.
And there's also this sense that they've seen this before, they've been here before, they've seen multiple ceasefires declared and then broken,
violated. They have literally felt the wrath of the regime.
Because when these ceasefires do break, it's not the frontlines that bear the brunt of the bombings. It's not the fighting positions. It's the
And so while on the one hand, there might be a little bit of relief in the sense that maybe they'll be able to get a short period of time where they
don't necessarily have to worry that a bomb is going to fall on them in the middle of the night or when they go out into the market.
When you go down to the very core of the issues here, none of the problems have been resolved and their safety which is the most important thing for
anybody inside Idlib right now. That's not even close to being guaranteed.
HOLMES: Yes, and let's face it, the world looks on and does precious little. Important reporting by you again, also your photographer Brice
Laine and producer Gul Tuysuz as well. Thanks to you and your team.
Well, Turkey has been demanding more support from Europe over the crisis in Idlib, leading some to accuse Ankara of using Syrian refugees as blackmail.
Turkey is no longer trying to stop them from entering Europe. But neighboring Greece is pushing hard using force to keep migrants out. Jomana
Karadsheh with those details.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We don't know her name, she's too distraught to speak. But you really don't need words to explain
this stuff when she grieves. Those with her tell us her husband was killed at the border.
Turkey says Greek border guards open fire on refugees and migrants gathered at its border on Wednesday, killing one and injuring five others. The Greek
government denies using live ammunition and calls it fake news fabricated by Turkey. But it's not just the Turkish Government making these
We're not allowed past this police line, but the situation seems chaotic. We've seen several ambulances coming in and out.
This man made it out of the area where thousands are gathered by the border fence. He says they were protesting peacefully.
They said go away and they shot at us, he says. The Greek government is openly firing live ammunition. An accusation Greece categorically denies.
We spoke with a Syrian refugee who also says he witnessed the incident.
He saw one person he says hit in the chest by a tear gas canister.
(INAUDIBLE) we're also hearing pops of -- it's unclear what's being fired and who's firing what.
At the local hospital where the injured were taken, Turkish health officials are keen to show us a photo of a bullet they claim was removed
from one of the wounded.
Because the Greek side is saying they didn't use live ammunition, they did not use bullets.
30 year old Zishar Omar a Pakistani laborer says he saw people gathered at the border fence. He thought that they might be opening the gate to enter
Greece so he ran up.
This mobile phone footage shows Omar being carried away moments after he was shot in the leg. All he wanted he says, was a better life.
Back at the border, a steady stream of new arrivals undeterred by the news of violence and Europe's determination to keep them out. Some say they know
Turkey's using them as leverage trying to get more support from Europe.
People so desperate for a different life that they're willing to risk everything for this uncertainty. Jomana Karadsheh, CNN on the Turkish Greek
HOLMES: Now CNN is partnering with young people around the world for a student led day of action against modern day slavery, that's going to be on
March the 11th. And we have been asking students, what does freedom mean to you? Here are some of the answers from Abu Dhabi.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACK COOPER, STUDENT: My name is Jack Cooper from American Community School of Abu Dhabi. And I feel free when I jumped in the pool with my brothers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: We'll tell the world what freedom means to you. Share your story under the #MyFreedomDay.
Still to come on the program, the race to develop a coronavirus vaccine, just how soon realistically could there be one? We'll tell you what the
experts say when we come back.
HOLMES: Researchers and drug companies worldwide are of course scrambling to create a vaccine for the novel coronavirus. But even the most optimistic
timeline is that a vaccine will take at least a year to develop and test probably longer. CNN's Frederick Pleitgen with that story.
FREDERICK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: As the novel coronavirus continues to spread around the globe and the death toll mounts,
these scientists in Germany like countless others around the world are in a race against time trying to develop a vaccine as fast as possible for an
illness the scientific world has a lot to learn about.
FRANZ-WERNER HAAS, COO, CUREVAC: Well, the challenge first of all is that the virus is unknown. So you don't know which kind of protection you need
in order to stimulate the immune system in order to be protected.
PLEITGEN: Here an American company CureVac who's COO has been to the White House to meet President Trump makes vaccines by essentially embedding the
viruses' code into human cells to help the body protect itself.
HAAS: But we are making the body to produce your own vaccine or your own drug.
PLEITGEN: Each of these little tubes contains a different construct of the viruses' code. Right now the scientists at the main lab in Germany are
trying to find out which one is the safest and most effective to be turned into a vaccine.
Well, they don't want to put a date on it yet. They believe they're getting closer.
HAAS: We are in preparation for clinical trial. Out of the different constructs, we have to get the best ones into the clinics and we are in
constant discussions with regulatory authorities.
The pressure couldn't be higher with a number of novel coronavirus cases jumping every day and the global economy taking a beating from the
President Trump at a meeting with drug makers urged the industry to come up with a vaccine ASAP.
TRUMP: We're moving aggressively to accelerate the process of developing a vaccine. A lot of good things are happening and they're happening very
fast. I said, do me a favor, speed it up -- speed it up, and they will.
PLEITGEN: While U.S. health officials acknowledged it will be at least a year before one will be certified. The company says it's working overtime
to get it done soon.
HAAS: If you compare a normal vaccine development takes several years. We are fighting an outbreak right now and therefore regulatory authorities are
hands on and trying to do this within a year's time.
PLEITGEN: Getting that done within a year is almost unheard of as far as the certification of drugs is concerned. But the folks of the company tell
us that they've almost never seen this amount of international urgency on the part of governments, on the part of NGOs and also of course on the part
of drug companies and labs to try and get a vaccine on the market as fast as possible and as safe as possible. Frederick Pleitgen CNN, Berlin.
HOLMES: In Hong Kong meanwhile, a dog is in quarantine after testing quote, weak positive for coronavirus. The pet dog was tested after the owner was
infected with the virus.
Officials say the dog does not have any what they call relevant symptoms and the results could just be due to environmental contamination.
They also stress it is not clear if dogs can actually get coronavirus or infect others with it, but they will be monitoring the dog and doing
Thanks for your company and spending part of your day with me. I'm Michael Holmes and do stay with CNN "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS", coming up next.