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Hala Gorani Tonight
Friday Prayers Canceled and Governments Increase Funding to Fight Coronavirus; Interview with USAID Former Director of Emerging Threats; Ship Docked Near San Francisco Awaiting Coronavirus Test Results; Spread of Virus Leads to Medical Supply Crisis; E.U. Health Ministers Emergency Meeting on Coronavirus; Gunmen Kill 32, Wound 58 in Attack During Kabul Ceremony; South Korea has More Than 6,500 Cases and 40 Plus Deaths. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired March 06, 2020 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN HOST: Hello and welcome. I'm Paula Newton in Atlanta and there is a lot to get to this hour. The coronavirus epidemic has reached a
grim new milestone. By CNN's count, there are now more than 100,000 confirmed cases -- most of course in mainland China -- but new infections
are spreading further into Europe, Asia and the United States as this virus moves west.
Now, some countries are having trouble, of course, finding out just how many people have actually caught the virus. Health experts have accused
Japan, for instance, of under-testing its population. And the United States is now struggling -- it admits -- to meet the massive demand for tests with
that crucial shortage of testing kits.
Now, we've been seeing countless lives, of course, disrupted because of this virus, or really just because of the fear of the virus. In affected
countries, employees all around the world, in fact, are now working from home. Children are missing school because of closures, and many cultural,
sporting and religious events have been cancelled.
France's president is even asking people to stop visiting elderly relatives. Why? They are the most vulnerable, he says, and people should
try to protect them. Our Christiane Amanpour shows us where else this virus is hitting.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR (voice-over): Inside a temporary hospital in Wuhan, the epicenter of China's coronavirus outbreak,
there's not much for these patients to do but wait, hopeful that they'll soon be given the all clear to go home. The country has now recorded more
than 80,000 cases, but China says the rate of new infections is slowing.
In nearby South Korea, it's a different story as the number of new cases there has risen sharply in recent days. Many governments around the world
have imposed travel bans on South Koreans, which has prompted the country's foreign minister to summon foreign diplomats to a meeting in Seoul.
KANG KYUNG-WHA, FOREIGN MINISTER OF SOUTH KOREA: I do hope that you will continue to maintain your trust in our approach to this health crisis.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Across the country, military teams are spraying disinfectant in public places like shopping malls and airports, to try to
control the virus. But there are increasing signs that Korea's health system is struggling to cope.
RYU HYUN-WOOK, CHIEF OF EMERGENCY ROOM, KYUNGPOOK UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL, DAEGU (through translator): The most difficult part is that there aren't
enough medical resources to deal with the outbreak, especially quarantined treatment facilities.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): While the World Health Organization is not yet describing the outbreak as a pandemic, some governments are.
LAWRENCE WONG, SINGAPOREAN MINISTER FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: So it is starting to look like a global pandemic everywhere in the world. And as I
said, it's not going to be possible to shut ourselves out.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Across the Middle East, Friday prayers were again cancelled in many cities. In Mecca, one of Islam's holiest shrines, prayers
did go ahead after the site was sterilized on Thursday, but only residents and Saudi nationals could attend, meaning the number of worshipers was
In Iran, where there's been thousands of cases and more than a hundred confirmed deaths, authorities are spraying disinfectant on public transport
and the Palestinian authority is banning tourists and mass gatherings, closing schools and restricting travel between cities.
MOHAMMAD SHTAYYEH, PRIME MINISTER OF PALESTINE (through translator): We announce a state of emergency in the Palestinian territories, to face the
danger of coronavirus and to stop its spread.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): The acceleration of coronavirus infections continues across Europe too, with many countries reporting a significant spike in
JENS SPAHN, HEALTH MINISTER OF GERMANY (through translator): The virus is in Europe, and we must now adapt our measures. We are no longer going to
set up quarantine centers. Now it's a matter of slowing it down, containing it.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): In Italy, the epicenter of Europe's outbreak, the government is doubling its financial support package to deal with the
crisis, to over $8 billion now.
The reality though is that the true cost will be far, far higher. In the past nine days alone, about $9 trillion have been wiped from global stocks
as the crisis rattles investor confidence.
Christiane Amanpour, CNN, London.
NEWTON: And of course to update you, the market as you see it there is down, and that's why our Richard Quest is here and joining us.
And, Richard, I have to ask you, look, we look at the markets, they've been up, they've been down, they're incredibly volatile through this virus,
mostly down though. But this is going to affect the real economy for some time to come, right?
RICHARD QUEST, CNN EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Without doubt. Let's put it this way. The real economy is now being hit two ways. Firstly, by employees directly
impacted, people who can't get to work, people who are self-quarantined, people who simply are -- their factories are suffering a lack of raw
materials and supplies in the supply chain. So that's a direct impact that will have a chilling effect.
And then you get what's happening here with the market. The market creates more fear. The market's reflecting what people are feeling, what investors
are feeling. So now, people feel poorer, they see their 401(k)s or their pension funds go down. And, Paula, what do people do then? They stay at
home, they don't spend money, they don't go on holidays. And then you have the dreaded and feared downward spiral.
Now, are we there? Well, we're very close, we're on the cusp of the downward spiral because just today, Barclays Research says that they now
expect, in the Eurozone, Paula, a short but deep recession. I do believe that could expand. Will the U.S. go into recession? Possibly not, but it's
NEWTON: Yes, and you know, all eyes of course, as you and I have discussed before, Richard, on the United States because it is a stronger -- strongest
economy, they had a strong jobs report today. Richard, what is happening though right now in the United States? People are being asked to stay home
and work from home, that's been going on in Asia for weeks and weeks and weeks.
This is a large global experiment in terms of how do you keep this economy afloat when people are in self-quarantine at home?
QUEST: Yes, we're having to now put to the test all those theories, everybody from NASA to companies to banks, everybody's putting to the test
this idea that you don't have to make the trip, you don't have to be in the office. You can work virtually from home. But whether that's real, I don't
know. I'm hearing a lot of people saying, well, I could get so far but I needed that meeting or I didn't have those files or it wasn't possible.
So, Paula, of course it's not as bad as it would have been many years ago, when you couldn't work from home. But by no means is this a satisfactory
I'll give you one example. Tonight, I'm supposed to be going to Sao Paolo for a two-day trip. Now, what I was going for can't be done virtually. The
trip is probably off for good. But next week, I was going to an economic conference in Bahrain. That will be reinstated, restructured.
So the economic effects, you stay at home, you don't. You had to travel to be where you are today. There's no one-size-fits-all. But we can say
categorically that the economic effect is real and it could very simply get worse.
NEWTON: Yes, Richard, non-exaggeration obviously, to say that we have only scratched the surface here. I know at 3:00 p.m., you are going to start
talking about --
NEWTON: -- of course, oil prices, essentially crashing today --
QUEST: Eight percent, eight percent --
NEWTON: -- that -- I know, Richard. I'll be listening at 3:00 --
QUESTION: -- Paula.
NEWTON: -- and we've got that 10-year hitting that new low at 0.66. It's up a little bit --
NEWTON: -- Richard's going to tell you all of this. Plus, he will be back, of course, with "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" and have an exclusive interview with
Greece's prime minister on all of this. Remember, Greece, one of the most vulnerable economies in Europe at this moment.
And we will go now to another country in Europe, trying to cope with this coronavirus. Italy is reporting 49 new deaths Friday, bringing the total
close to 200. Ben Wedeman is in Milan for us. And, Ben, this really caught my attention. It is a truly alarming figure. What is the explanation at
this point for why the death toll is so high?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: One of the explanations we're getting from officials here is that 80 percent -- or
rather the average age of those who are dying is about 80 percent, and the majority of them have some sort of previous medical condition.
Keep in mind, as you well know, Italy has a very large elderly population. To its credit, the national health service, the public health service --
this is largely free for most people -- is a very efficient one. And so for instance, we were in a town the other day, looking at the death notices
that are posted on there. There were people who died at 99, 97, 93. The youngest one was 75.
And because this virus seems to affect the elderly more than others, this would explain this death toll.
And in fact, we heard just this evening from officials here in Lombardy, that basically all the -- only one percent of those who are afflicted are
under the age of 24. So this is a disease that really affects the elderly. And because of Italy's large elderly population, that really explains this
large death toll -- Paula.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): If you visit, you'd be forgiven if you concluded that despite the growing number of coronavirus cases in Italy, all is well.
On a sunny winter afternoon, cafes and restaurants are full. It looks and sounds like something straight out of a movie. Bergamo is in the so-called
yellow zone, areas adjacent to the red zones where the outbreak is most intense and entry and exit are tightly controlled.
WEDEMAN: Italy is a surreal combination of life as normal and ever more draconian measures to stop the spread of coronavirus.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): The government has ordered schools and universities across the country shut until March 15th. The number of new coronavirus
cases and deaths continues to soar.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is sounding the alarm.
We have hospitals, a health system that although excellent and efficient, are at risk of being overwhelmed, he warns.
The Ospedale Maggiore in the yellow zone town of Lodi has treated more than 500 coronavirus patients in the past two and a half weeks. At least 15 have
ENRICO STORTI, HEAD OF INTENSIVE CARE, MAGGIORE HOSPITAL: In my team, we are 21 and six physicians have been found positive.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): Dr. Enrico Storti runs the intensive care unit.
STORTI: When you receive 100 people at the same time, sickest, and all the people needs your job otherwise they die -- this is exactly what we are
seeing -- because they arrive in the hospital with such consistent distress, that you have to treat these people in seconds.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): Surgeon Pietro Bisagni says their lives have been turned upside-down.
PIETRO BISAGNI, DIRECTOR OF GENERAL SURGERY, MAGGIORE HOSPITAL: Me and Dr. Storti, we stayed here for four to five days continuously. And then we went
back some hours to rest, and then coming back here. At home, we are actually on quarantine so we just say bye-bye to our family.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): The government has established a network of coronavirus hotlines. This one in Rome, staffed by doctors, receives about
2,000 calls a day from the area around the city.
They're basically afraid because they think it's a deadly disease, says hotline director Anna Maria Roscioni. They don't know what to do.
Which might explain why it's best to enjoy what matters now.
WEDEMAN: And in case I misspoke, Paula, let me be clear. The average age of those who have died from this virus is 80 years old, so it's definitely
hitting those who are more elderly -- Paula.
NEWTON: Yes, absolutely, Ben. And thanks for bringing the story of those frontline health care workers. I mean, you heard him say, literally, there
were people that come to them that need care within seconds. Ben Wedeman there for us in Italy, thanks so much.
And now, we want to bring in of course an infectious disease expert, Dr. Dennis Carroll. He is a former director of the Emerging Threats Division of
the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID. He led the agency's responses to both Avian Flu and the West African Ebola epidemic.
Good thing you're here right at this moment, as we continue to get developments, really by the minute, on this virus. As I say, it's pushing
west. What about this big debate -- and I would like you to weigh in here - - on social distancing. How effective is it? Do you believe it's prudent to do more of this?
There are experts like yourself now, weighing in and saying, look, for the elderly -- and again they are the most vulnerable, that's what, you know,
the statistics tell us so far -- should the elderly, even in this country, throughout Europe be staying home, not traveling, not going to church?
DENNIS CARROLL, INFECTIOUS DISEASE EXPERT: Well, first off, let me say, under social distancing, there are a number of things you want to consider.
First and foremost is that you practice really good personal hygiene, constantly washing your hands. And avoiding unnecessary touching or
physical interactions with other people. This becomes even more critical for the elderly, who, as you've noted already, are disproportionately at
risk of this particular virus.
The idea of social distancing is an augmented tool to minimize the opportunity for the virus to jump from one person to another. We don't have
a vaccine, we don't have clear guidance yet on proper treatment, effective pharmaceuticals.
So the best protection people can bring for themselves -- it's imperfect, but it is a measure that can reduce the exposure and it could reduce the
infections to many people: good hygiene, and keeping yourself at a safe distance so as to minimize the opportunity for infection.
NEWTON: But do you think it's time to be straight with the elderly and people who have compromised immune systems -- that might be people going
through cancer treatment, for instance -- to say, look, if you had plans to get on an airplane, to go on a vacation, to go to a large family event, it
might be better to stay home?
CARROLL: Well, again, you're again pointing out that the two populations that are at greatest risk are elderly and people living with a pre-existing
condition: cardiovascular, they may have cancer, they may have diabetes. Those people have to take particular cautionary measures to minimize their
exposure and risk. So -- and people who are interacting with them, need also to recognize that they have a greater responsibility for minimizing
exposure, that those people may inadvertently become exposed too.
So, yes, this is a case where common sense is probably your best preventive measure. And common sense here says minimize your exposures. And you
minimize your exposures by measured social distancing.
NEWTON: Understood. And if we look at how virulent this virus might be, as again it mutates and perhaps even changes -- I'm not even sure if we know
that much about the virus yet.
I do want to point out some things that the WHO's already pointed out, though. They learned a lot from China, right? The issue now -- and I've
been on a lot of, you know, conference calls and press conferences with health care officials saying, China gave people time. That the measures
that are being put in place now, do you believe that can help from overwhelming local hospitals?
CARROLL: Oh, absolutely. One, if we can minimize the exposure of people to this virus, you'll dramatically reduce people who are infected and become
And I think we have learned quite a lot from the experience in China over the last two months, both about the importance of social distancing,
isolating yourself when you are ill, how disruptive that is in terms of minimizing further transmission. We should pay close attention to that as
we go forward.
This issue that you mentioned, about the virus mutating or not, this is still very early and the data that's coming out at this point is very
NEWTON: Yes, and it --
CARROLL: -- Yes.
NEWTON: -- it's important that you mention that. Because we keep coming up with questions, which experts like you keep telling us, look, there are no
clear answers yet, which is why the virus becomes even more of a concern.
Doctor, I do have to leave it there, but I thank you as we continue to try and track this virus. Appreciate it.
CARROLL: Well, thank you very much as well.
NEWTON: Still ahead, U.S. President Donald Trump's on-again-off-again trip to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention is now back on. We'll
preview his visit today to the main U.S. agency fighting the coronavirus outbreak.
And passengers are stuck on a cruise ship off the coast of San Francisco this time, anxiously awaiting the results of about 100 coronavirus tests.
NEWTON: Since the first time -- for the very first time, the coronavirus outbreak has hit the United States, President Donald Trump is going to
visit the government agency on the frontlines of this fight. Now, he's due at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta in less than
two hours from now -- that is where I am sitting right now.
Mr. Trump has downplayed the threat and says Americans should be calm because coronavirus will, in his words, eventually go away. But the number
of cases is growing as more testing is being done. At least 250 cases are now reported in 21 states. And I can tell you, that number continues to go
up by the hour.
Earlier today, Mr. Trump signed a bill authorizing more than $8 billion to help stem the outbreak. We want to bring in our senior medical
correspondent Elizabeth Cohen. She is live right now for us at the CDC, awaiting the president's visit.
And, you know, this comes at such a critical time, Elizabeth. There is a lot being asked of the CDC. When you look at how to contain this virus --
because that's all we're talking about now -- there has been a huge controversy with test kits. Are we there yet in terms of this country being
able to test enough people?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, yesterday, the vice president, Paula, he said it himself. He said that moving forward, it
does not look like we have enough kits. They're trying to get more -- more out there, some of them from the CDC, out to state and local public health
labs. Also, the private companies are trying to get tests out to hospitals and to other private offices.
So I think the answer, according to the president -- to the vice president, is that we don't have enough right at this moment. Really, it will take
millions and millions of tests to have enough of them. And that's because the symptoms for this virus are so common that many people will need it. In
the beginning, if you had a cough and a fever, they wouldn't really -- they didn't really focus on testing you unless you'd been to China, or if you
knew someone who had been to China.
But now, because this virus is spreading out in the community, even to people who haven't traveled and don't know people who have traveled, even
those people will want to get tested and doctors will want to test them.
Now, I had an interesting conversation with two infectious disease experts today about what people in the U.S. should be doing to avoid coronavirus.
And what they said is a very different change of course, it is a change of course from what has been said before.
These two experts who have connections to the federal government -- they're not in the federal government but they've been advisors to the federal
government -- said, look, if you're 60 or over and-or if you have underlying conditions, we encourage what's called social distancing. Think
twice before you go to a crowded mall. Don't go to concerts. If there's a family event, really, they strongly urge people to consider not going to
things like weddings or to a movie theater.
They said it doesn't mean don't go to any of these things -- and there may be times where you should go -- but they said really consider saying no to
events like this if you are 60 or older, or if you have underlying conditions, health conditions, or both -- Paula.
NEWTON: Yes, it's a really interesting directive there, and something that hasn't been said explicitly to this point. Our senior medical correspondent
Elizabeth Cohen is there, awaiting the president's visit, and will continue to follow those developments there today. Appreciate it.
Now, another cruise ship -- yes -- is at the center of a small coronavirus cluster, this time, off the coast of San Francisco. The CDC is awaiting the
test results of about 100 people right now on the Grand Princess -- you see them dropping the test kits there.
This is following the death of a recent passenger in California. But the Grand Princess already has been linked to an international spread. A
Canadian couple was diagnosed with the virus after spending 10 days on board in February, that's in addition to another Canadian patient who was
confirmed in Calgary, who had been on this cruise in Mexico but did not carry on and had disembarked.
CNN's Dan Simon is in San Francisco for us, following this story. You are right now where the Grand Princess is waiting to dock. Dan, I know you've
been in contact with the passengers. Bring us right up to date, because I think as you've expressed, a lot of them are starting to get worried.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. They don't know what the near future is going to look like. Are they going to be out there for a couple of
weeks, or could they actually come to the terminal and get off and be on their way, you know, as early as this evening? We just don't know.
The key is, what are these test results going to show. And I think that is going to dictate the path forward. But for these passengers, yesterday
afternoon, some of them were still taking advantage of the leisure activities that you would find on a cruise ship. And then rather abruptly,
the captain came on the loudspeaker and said, everybody has to go to their staterooms, they cannot leave, they're going to get their meals there
through room service.
So that's where they are right now, they're just in their rooms. And so there's no a whole lot you can do when you're in your room on a cruise
ship. Maybe browse the internet, watch an on-demand movie. But this is a terrible way to end a two-week vacation to the Hawaiian islands -- Paula.
NEWTON: Absolutely, Dan. The key thing, though, is that how many people are they testing? I mean, I just pointed out -- and I've been following a case
in Canada, where you had a passenger who was on that ship -- right, Dan? -- so then she went back to Calgary. She had been in the community for a week
before even self-isolating and then getting a confirmation that she had coronavirus.
The passengers that she was with are still on that ship. They want to be tested, right?
SIMON: Right. So you had a small cluster of people who were on the previous voyage to Mexico, where you had cases of coronavirus, three or four cases.
And then of the people who were on the previous voyage, 60 of those passengers stayed on board for the current cruise.
And once they discovered that cluster, all 60 passengers had to be sequestered to their rooms. So they haven't been able to leave for a few
days, maybe for, you know, a few moments here and there. And then on top of that 60, you did have 20 or so people who came down with coronavirus
symptoms. SO they're saying that about close to a hundred people in all needed to be tested.
Forty-five of the tests took place yesterday, so the balance of those are taking place today. And we should have some results, in terms of the
original 45 tests that took place yesterday. Those should come out sometime this afternoon, maybe this evening -- Paula.
NEWTON: Yes. Dan, thanks for clarifying that. Because at this point, a lot of people are wondering how you could have such a cluster still on the
ship, but also obviously on land, now in two countries.
CNN's Dan Simon, there for us as you continue to follow that story. Appreciate it.
Still to come here tonight, the coronavirus continues to spread worldwide, but medical supplies are falling short: a look at what is being done about
And ahead, Washington State is dealing with the largest concentration of coronavirus cases in the United States. You will want to listen to this, a
live report coming up.
NEWTON: As coronavirus continues to spread, some medical supplies are now running short making people desperate.
In Indonesia, police arrested two people on suspicion of stockpiling after seizing more than 60,000 face max -- face masks from them.
In South Korea, the government is trying to distribute mask to the elderly as the country copes with mask shortages in long lines.
And the France, where the government will start taking control of those crucial masks supplies.
In the United States however, it's fallen on the mask companies to make potentially life changing decisions on who should receive these crucial
unlimited supplies. Our Clare Sebastian has more.
MICHAEL EINHORN, PRESIDENT, DEALMED: So these are all our face masks. We store them in a secure room.
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: For medical supply company Dealmed, this is part of a new reality at their New Jersey distribution center. They
have also added security outside.
EINHORN: There's people that keep coming in from the street knocking on the door trying to take product.
SEBASTIAN: Masks are the biggest concern here as demand spikes because of fears over the spread of the novel coronavirus and supplies run short.
Dealmed like many others in this industry sources its masks from China.
EINHORN: The only production that we're told that's happening right now is the production in China, which is staying domestic for the Chinese
SEBASTIAN: So you're going to run out?
EINHORN: We're absolutely going to run out but we have contingency plans in place. We're trying to do the best we can for our customers.
SEBASTIAN: Dealmed can no longer sell based on demand alone. Every day they hold a meeting to make potentially life changing decisions about who should
get their limited stock.
EINHORN: So it's going to the actual hospital, what do you want to do Chuck?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 10 boxes.
EINHORN: Let's do 10 today, we'll talk tomorrow again . We'll put them on the list for tomorrow.
SEBASTIAN: 10 boxes is just 200 masks. Dealmed tells us that the hospital had requested six times that.
Supply issues are mounting. China the world's biggest manufacturer of medical face masks says it's not imposing any export restrictions. But
several western companies tell us they have not been receiving orders.
Countries from Germany to Thailand of banned exports and the French authorities announced this week they are taking control of all medical
masks to distribute to health professionals.
Medical Canadian manufacturer of masks and other medical supplies says as of late January, the Chinese government has requisitioned or production at
their three Chinese factories at market rate. They're not yet sure what will happen to their factory in France.
And here in Augusta, Georgia, they are ramping up as fast as possible.
GUILLAUME LAVERDURE, GROUP COO AND PRESIDENT NORTH AMERICA, MEDICOM: We were basically doubling the capacity of the factory for a period of four to
six months, between the additional shifts, additional equipment. But actual equipment takes a lot of time, these are custom made machines.
SEBASTIAN: They're also not taking on new customers.
LAVERDURE: And we decided from day one to go on allocation to only distribute to existing customers, the historical demand to avoid any
speculation, stockpiling, additional safety stock which is a big disruption.
EINHORN: They have wipes, gloves as an example. These are other products that are increasing in terms of demand.
SEBASTIAN: The Dealmed stuff are also working extra hours, three new team members have been hired. And they're starting to feel the pressure.
EINHORN: This is a terrible situation right now what's going on right now. I mean, it's terrifying. I mean, we have health care workers going around
for facemask. It's a terrifying situation to be in.
But we feel that it's our obligation and our responsibility to the industry to work with our customers and be the calming voice during these crazy
SEBASTIAN: A calming voice in the face of unprecedented demand and dwindling supplies. Clare Sebastian CNN, Lakewood, New Jersey.
WATSON: Now the number of coronavirus cases in the United States is rapidly increasing each day. So far there are at least 250 nationwide, as I'm
telling you this though the numbers continue to increase.
The majority of them right now are in fact in Washington State. At least 70 people there have been diagnosed with the virus and 13 people have died.
The University of Washington announced that starting Monday, all classes will be held online for the remainder of that academic quarter.
CNN Stephanie Elam is in Washington State right now. And Stephanie, I've been watching you report for several days in front of that nursing home
there. They -- it's just been heartbreaking really to hear the stories.
It is acute there, what has changed for a lot of the family members who really are as we say at the epicenter of where this outbreak started and
where it's really taking a toll?
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's the really human part of this story. It's one thing to hear the numbers, it's another to talk to these
family members, Paula. And you know, you talk about the 13 deaths in this state, we know that more than half of them are people who are residents
here at this nursing care facility.
And so what we also know is that since this outbreak has been identified, they haven't been allowing visitors in, which means that there are family
members who are not able to make it in to be with their loved ones.
And from some of the people we talked to, their parents in many cases have dementia, may be confused a bit and don't understand why their family
members aren't visiting, don't understand what exactly is going on.
And then you have these people who are dying and their families are upset that they were alone and without their loved ones there at the end of their
lives. That's very frustrating to some.
There's one woman who says that her mom died around 3:30 in the morning local time on Thursday. And then mid-morning, that same day, she got a call
from the facility telling her that her mom was in stable condition to which she was like, no, you already told me that she passed away and the -- and
the person she spoke to said that they hadn't fully read the chart.
So there is a belief here that the people who are working here are doing their best but they're overwhelmed.
According to the facility though, they're saying that the CDC, the Centers of Disease Control officials are here. There are also representatives from
the county and also from the state of Washington now.
But for most people, the fact that there is not full testing for all of the people who have been in this facility, which is really ground zero of the
outbreak in Washington State is just unbelievable. They just don't believe that it's taking this long to get this kind of response, Paula.
WATSON: Yes, we had Elizabeth Cohen on earlier, Stephanie, talking about the fact that the test kits there still aren't enough, right? Hopefully
soon, but not yet. And you're telling me that even there at that nursing home that they don't feel like their relatives are being -- you know,
really tested as quickly as they should be.
Stephanie, can you just give me some insight into what's going on in Washington State? I know we've heard stories about people staying at home,
classes canceled, people working from home. I mean, does it kind of feel a bit like a lockdown?
ELAM: Not totally. I mean, we are in Kirkland, which is outside of Seattle. But you are right, there's large companies who are telling people to stay
away for the rest of this week, that are saying, you know what, for the rest of the month. If you can telecommute telecommute, don't come to work,
which obviously then affects all of the restaurants and all the businesses that are around these office buildings, right?
So -- but people are saying at this point, it's better to not come into large gatherings to stay away but it's also because we've seen this
coronavirus spread into schools. There's thousands of kid in Washington State that are not in school today because there has been someone who's
come in who has had has tested presumptively positive for this virus. And so they've shut down the schools because of that.
So everyone taking an extra precaution to try to stop the spread of this, but you're even seeing it spread to different states. There's one person
who was here, Washington State visited someone at this facility and then flew to North Carolina, and they've now have a presumptive positive test.
So that's how easily it can spread.
And it seems innocuous that anyone would be coming to visit a loved one at a nursing home. But this is also the most vulnerable of the population,
many of them elderly, some of them in mobile, and many of them with already having some underlying health concerns which makes them more susceptible to
the dangers of this coronavirus.
WATSON: Yes, and Stephanie, as you pointed out frequently, all the more heartbreaking that their family members just simply can't be by their side
as they're going through this. Stephanie, I know you'll keep us up to date. Thanks so much.
Now, health ministers from across the European Union held an emergency meeting in Brussels on Friday. They are trying to figure out where they
will get their safety masks, their test kits and other medical supplies to help fight the spread of the coronavirus.
Italy is one of the major outbreak hotspots but the number of cases in France, Germany and Spain have spiked just in the last few hours.
Our Frederick Pleitgen is there live for us in Brussels. I think the issue is here, you can see that Europe does want to be on a different footing,
right? More of an emergency footing when it comes to the public health in Europe. What are they doing? What materially can they do?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the European Union certainly does want to be on a different footing and wants
to get more involved. But at the same time, they also realize that there are limitations as far as the European Union is concerned.
One of the major limitations, Paula, is the fact that the European Union has absolutely no authority over health policies in any of the member
countries. So essentially, it's up to the member countries themselves, each of them how they respond to the coronavirus.
Now, the European Health Commissioner came out and she said there is not going to be a one size fits all policy for dealing with the coronavirus
because of course, the European countries are so diverse and the situation surrounding the coronavirus are so diverse as well.
At the same time, they also said they do need more coordination to happen. They say one of the most important things is information sharing. And
you're not only talking about countries very quickly saying how many confirmed cases they have, but also the measures that for instance, they're
taking to try and slow down the spread of the coronavirus.
One of them being the Czech Republic, for instance, which today announced that they would have a mandatory two week stay at home quarantine for
people coming back from Italy.
The European Union say we need to know that as early as possible to then see if other member states may want to take similar measures or react to
But the most important thing I think that we heard today is that the European Commission, Paula, wants to take a more serious role in
procurement, mass procurement of medical supplies, like in so many other places. We saw that in Clare's package as well.
There are shortages in many European countries. The European Commission says it is expert at buying in bulk and getting it to European nations.
That's exactly where they see their role to get more medical supplies to places that need them. And they hope to do it as fast as possible, Paula.
WATSON: Yes, and it really is at this point job one when you consider their public health authorities and what they're going through.
Fred, I'm not going to let you go before asking you about Iran, right? You were there as the virus was just starting to take hold in that country,
They've -- you know, not had Friday prayers. They have not been able to attend Friday prayers for two Fridays running. They've had lawmakers
infected. What is the situation there? And what is the particular challenge in Iran in terms of being able to avoid a larger outbreak?
PLEITGEN: Yes, there's a lot of challenges in Iran. You're absolutely right. Iran is obviously right now one of the real hotbeds of the spread of
the coronavirus. And the authorities there -- I think we're on a very similar footing as the authorities here in Europe where they have pretty
much come to terms with the fact they're not going to get rid of this virus anytime soon. But they're also saying they want to try and slow the spread
of the virus down.
But you're absolutely right, every day that we look at the situation in Iran, the death toll keeps rising. And the numbers of people infected seems
to be spiking as well.
So very difficult country -- very difficult situation for a country that we have to keep in mind is under severe international sanctions. And those
sanctions have also made it very, very difficult for them to get a lot of medical supplies that they need.
Of course, the World Health Organization is helping but what the Iranians are also trying to do is they're trying to stop big public gatherings.
That's where, for instance, the cancellation second in a row of the Friday prayers comes in, which is something that they don't take very lightly, as
we obviously know.
And then they're also trying to stop people from traveling too much around the country. One of the things that we heard today is that a lot of the --
or at least one of the main roads leading out of Tehran to the north towards the Caspian Sea has been closed off by authorities there.
I saw some picture just a couple minutes ago of cars that are just standing in lines there. I'm told that the border that people have to go is a town
called (INAUDIBLE), it's about 150 kilometers northwest of Tehran. And the authorities really are trying to stop people from traveling too much to
make sure or to try and make sure that the virus doesn't spread as quickly as it appears to have been in the early stages since it was detected in
Iran two weeks ago, Paula.
WATSON: Yes, and I guess that was the criticism, right, Fred? That they should have started this earlier. I mean, this is a footnote to this.
Canada has 51 cases, almost a third are connected to travel in Iran. There are other countries in similar situations, and a good reason to make sure
that countries are particular vulnerable situation that way to really try and get a handle on this.
Fred, I really appreciate the update. Thanks so much.
Still to come tonight, gunman attack a public ceremony in Afghanistan's capital for the first time since the historic agreement was signed between
the United States and the Taliban.
Plus, later in the show, the South Korea's president visiting mass production warehouses when dealing with coronavirus. It's all hands on deck
in that country.
WATSON: One man in Afghanistan attacked a public ceremony in Kabul killing 32 people and wounding nearly 60 others. Video shows the moment the
attackers began firing into a crowd. And I want to warn you the images may be disturbing for you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who do you believe is responsible?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's early to say. (INAUDIBLE)
WATSON: Apologies there. We were just having a look as you see there, shooting into the crowd and obviously people getting down.
Afghan President candidate -- Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah was there but he escaped unharmed. It's the first attack in the
Afghan capitals since the United States and the Taliban signed a historic agreement.
So far and this is key, there has been no claim of responsibility. CNN's Nic Robertson has been following this for us from London.
And Nick, as closely as you follow this story, this is another gruesome attack. The Taliban ISIS so far is denying responsibility. But surely the
peace deal at this point hangs in the balance.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN, INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: It's a very fragile moment. I mean, if you go back a week from now, the United States was
signing a peace deal with the Taliban that committed them to reduction in violence, committed the Afghan government over time with the Taliban to
release prisoners and get into intra-Afghan talks.
And all of that it's been up in the air. The Taliban went on the offensive at the beginning of the week, the United States responded as they -- as
they promised the Afghan government that they would with airstrikes against the Taliban positions. It's sort of been karma since then, but that was the
-- sort of, you know, going into Friday today.
This was -- event today was a significant national event in Afghanistan, but particularly significant for the Hazaras community. These are an ethnic
minority in Afghanistan and they are predominantly Shia Muslims. And I think that's leading a lot of people at the moment to form the conclusion
or at least the early assessment, if not conclusion, that more likely than the Taliban, it was most likely that it was ISIS that perpetrated this
attack because ISIS will typically target Shia Muslims for being Shia Muslims.
And the Taliban, of course, in their reduction in violence had forsworn attacks in the Afghan capital. And there were some ISIS commanders just
yesterday, on Thursday, saying that there should be attacks in Kabul.
So there was messaging from ISIS, sort of indicating that perhaps this attack would come. But small arms fired, rocket propelled, grenades fired
from high buildings surrounding the venue. The crowd literally forced to the ground from their seats out in the open to try to hide the gunshot --
hide from the gunshots. And it was a very bloody toll and a very significant event in a very bad day in Kabul, no doubt.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: Who do you believe is responsible?
ABDULLAH ABDULLAH, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, UNITY GOVERNMENT OF THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF AFGHANISTAN: I think it's early to say. It's a very complex
situation here in Afghanistan at this moment and I would not (INAUDIBLE) but there has to be further investigation before one could have an idea who
was behind it and who did it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: Well, that was an exclusive interview Dr. Abdullah Abdullah gave to CNN after the attack. And he described -- you know, witnessing the
attack, but his caution there and call for a thorough investigation I think is going to be widely echoed because the situation is complex. We're just
days away from a new Afghan president being inaugurated the last Afghan president, the current one, if you will, is being re-inaugurated in
elections that Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, and others have said were fraudulent. And that the decision of the Election Commission in Afghanistan to move
ahead and announced the new presidency.
The feeling of Dr. Abdullah Abdullah is that that has really happened too quickly. There's been a rush to do that. So there are a number of tensions,
ISIS, the elections, the Taliban, prisoner released to name but just a few of them.
WATSON: Yes and just a few days ago, hailing a new peace agreement there. Our Nick Robertson continues to follow this story. Thanks so much.
Still to come here tonight, South Korea has the most cases of coronavirus outside of China. The first lesson people have learned don't panic, a
glimpse of what life is like there right now.
WATSON: South Korea has the largest number of coronavirus cases outside of China now with more than 6,000 people infected and more than 40 deaths.
CNN's Ivan Watson takes a look at how Seoul is handling the outbreak.
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Asian countries have been living with the coronavirus outbreak for months. And one of the first
lessons people learned here is don't panic.
ROB SHEFFIELD, MANAGING DIRECTOR GREATER CHINA, MORGAN MCKINLEY: We're not panicking. We're probably a little bit frustrated because it's disruptive.
WATSON: As you can see here in Seoul, life still goes on but if you're just beginning to face a coronavirus epidemic, they're ready for some serious
All across Asia, sports, concerts, church services, any event involving large gatherings has either been cancelled or seriously altered.
In Japan, for example, they're playing professional baseball in empty stadiums.
In Asia, coronavirus triggered the world's biggest work from home experiment.
SHEFFIELD: I think working from home for us has been a huge success. It's raised questions for us around that do we need the size of office space
that we've got.
WATSON: Employees are literally phoning it in. Working by video conference and avoiding travel.
Meanwhile, many parents have to take care of kids at home because cities like Hong Kong have closed schools for months.
Understandably, there's a lot of concern right now, so governments have a responsibility to be transparent.
Early on in the crisis, the Chinese government attempted to silence experts who tried to sound the alarm that hurt the government's credibility and
spread distrust. Even China's notorious sensors have been unable to control criticism online.
But in South Korea, officials give daily briefings at national, provincial and city levels. And even though South Korea has the second highest number
of infections outside of mainland China, public opinion polls show approval for the president remain solid.
The experts agree a key to stemming the outbreak is personal hygiene.
IVAN HUNG, CHIEF OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES DIVISION, HONG KONG UNIVERSITY: Infection control by people wearing masks and also by hand hygiene, hand
rub with alcohol swab.
WATSON: Many coronavirus carriers have mild symptoms. So it's vital to identify those who have this contagious disease by testing for it.
HUNG: The important is for early diagnosis and early isolation and early treatment, the mainstay of isolation and prevention of this infection from
WATSON: The coronavirus outbreak is a global phenomenon. So chances are you will feel some impact. But no matter what the inconvenience, remember the
most important thing going forward is to stay healthy. Ivan Watson, CNN, Seoul.
WATSON: OK. As the coronavirus spreads something else is going viral, unfortunately misinformation. The World Health Organization is teaming up
with social media firms to try and do something about it. CNN's Hadas Gold has more.
HADAS GOLD, CNN MEDIA AND TECH REPORTER: It's not just COVID-19, better known as the novel coronavirus that's spreading fast. There's a flow of
misinformation online about the virus, and health officials are mounting a concerted effort to combat it, they're calling it an infodemic. The ease
with which conspiracies are shared and reshare it, makes stopping something going viral online almost as difficult as stopping a biological viral
outbreak in the real world.
After the deluge of misinformation around the measles outbreak that started in 2018, the World Health Organization is taking new approaches to tackle
Hi Andy, how are you?
ANDY PATTISON, MANAGER, DIGITAL SOLUTIONS WHO: I'm good, thanks. How are you doing?
GOLD: I'm good. Would you call this the first social media epidemic?
PATTISON: I think there's probably been micro academics -- epidemics and we call them infodemics. I think that this one could well be the first global
GOLD: So one of the big strains of the infodemic is misinformation about the viruses origins and how its spread. Numerous sites and groups online
have been falsely claiming that this virus is a result of some sort of biological warfare, some sort of bio weapon, or even created by the
pharmaceutical industry to try to sell more vaccines.
Another area of misinformation is fake cures and remedies. Some are harmless like drinking garlic water or basic herbal tonics, but others are
HEIDI LARSON, LONDON SCHOOL OF HYGIENE AND TROPICAL MEDICINE: In our social media monitoring for instance, we've come across proposed cures and
prevention options for coronavirus for everything from you just need to pray to more harmful proposed treatments like drinking bleach.
GOLD: Health officials are taking this infodemic seriously. The WHO was working directly with tech companies on a daily basis to flag and take down
bad information. And to ensure that facts from reliable sources get to users first.
We're seeing different approaches from different companies. Some of them are taking a more aggressive approach to taking down this content. Are
there some that you're more pleased with than others?
PATTISON: Yes, definitely. I think that it depends on the company's maturity with regards to their social impact and their social care for
their users. So if they've suffered reputational knocks in the past, they're much more likely to respond now to help us.
GOLD: We've contacted all the major platforms and they have told us they're taking measures to combat this flow of misinformation. But these measures
don't catch everything.
LARSON: It's very difficult to just delete, unless it's very clearly misinformation. They are in fact provoking questioning and doubt and you
can't delete doubt.
GOLD: In today's online world, there will always be misinformation. The challenge now for governments and platforms is how to fight a virus online.
WATSON: And our thanks there to Hadas Gold and her team for putting together that report.
Now with our extensive coverage of the coronavirus outbreak, our goal is of course to make sure that we distinguish between fact and fiction, right?
Be sure to subscribe and listen to our podcast. CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta will make sense of the headlines. I promise
you, he speaks to experts and he gives you all the information you need to stay safe and healthy.
I want to thank you for watching tonight but stay with CNN, you will want to. U.S. markets are now at session lows, oil down about 10 percent.
Richard is up next with "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS".