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Michigan's Spike In COVID-19 Cases; More Universities Requiring Proof Of Vaccination; Europe Continues To Struggle With Vaccine Rollout; Remembering Prince Philip; Hospitalizations Spike In Canada's Third Wave; Over 80 Killed In Myanmar On Friday; Ash, Sulfur From La Soufriere Volcano Covers St. Vincent Island; COVID-19 Squeezes Ketchup Packet Supply. Aired 4-5a ET

Aired April 11, 2021 - 04:00   ET




PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello and welcome to our viewers here, in the United States and all around the world. I am Paula Newton.

Ahead, on CNN NEWSROOM, record breaking vaccinations administered right across the United States. But there is troubling proof that, even as shots go in arms, we're not in the clear, yet.

Plus, in Canada, the third wave of COVID could be the country's worst, yet as hospitalizations continue to spike.

And --





NEWTON (voice-over): As many around the world praise the late Prince Philip we are learning details on how his funeral will be scaled back because of the pandemic. We're live, in Windsor, with the latest.



NEWTON: So here, in the United States, more signs of hope, in the battle against COVID-19. On Saturday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a new record, about 4.6 million vaccine doses, administered, in one day, alone, across the United States.

And a CNN analysis shows the nation's vaccination pace is, now, nearly five times faster than the global average with more than one in four American adults now, fully, inoculated. But experts warn, the U.S. should not let down its guard. Nationally,

case numbers and hospitalizations rose, last week, compared with the previous, seven day period. And Michigan's alarming spike in cases has Governor Gretchen Whitmer pleading for more vaccines to be rushed there, immediately.

On Saturday, alone, the state reported nearly 7,000 new cases just, in the state of Michigan. And as hospitalizations increase, some health providers in Michigan are delaying nonemergency procedures on a case by case basis. Hospital officials call it a last resort. CNN's Evan McMorris-Santoro has more on America's fight against the virus.


GOV. GRETCHEN WHITMER (D-MI): The second we let our guard down, it comes roaring back

EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As COVID-19 cases soar to alarming levels in Michigan, a warning:

DR. JONEIGH KHALDUN, MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: We are on track to potentially see a surge in cases that's even greater than the one we saw in the fall.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO (voice-over): The state's positivity rate is up to 18 percent and hospitalizations are climbing. Governor Gretchen Whitmer is asking high schools to go remote, youth sports to pause and encouraging citizens to skip indoor dining for the next two weeks.

WHITMER: To be very clear, these are not orders, mandates or requirements. A year in, we all know what works and this has to be a team effort. We have to do this together.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO (voice-over): Vaccinations in the state continue but not fast enough. The governor is pleading for more vaccines from the federal government, as the disruption of the supply of Johnson & Johnson vaccines continues to take a toll across the U.S.

WHITMER: We really should be surging vaccines to states that are experiencing serious outbreaks.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO (voice-over): The coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Response says the Federal government will offer states with outbreaks additional testing and personnel. But as of now, will not increase the number of vaccines.

JEFF ZIENTS, WHITE HOUSE COVID-19 RESPONSE COORDINATOR: The virus is unpredictable. We don't know where the next increase in cases could occur. We're not even halfway through our vaccination program, so now is not the time to change course on vaccine allocation.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO (voice-over): This, as the CDC is aware of four states that have reported some adverse reactions to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Several states even halting distribution of that vaccine. The CDC is not recommending health department's stop administering Johnson & Johnson shots at this time and at least one county in North Carolina, plans on resuming doses as soon as Monday.

SYRA MADAD, SPECIAL PATHOGENS PROGRAM, NYC HEALTH AND HOSPITALS: Right now, the benefits certainly outweigh the risk but more information hopefully will come out to the general public.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO (voice-over): And what could be promising news, drug maker Pfizer asking the FDA for emergency use authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine to expand to children ages 12 to 15 in the U.S. Currently, it's approved for people 16 and up only.

DR. LEANA WEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: I'm very optimistic about this. We need them to get the benefit of the vaccine but also it will help us to reach herd immunity a lot faster.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO (voice-over): And vaccine requirements are becoming part of the new normal. Analysis by CNN finds 16 colleges and universities and counting -- the latest, Duke University -- will require students to show proof of full vaccination before returning to on-campus classes this fall.


MCMORRIS-SANTORO (voice-over): -- Evan McMorris-Santoro, CNN, New York.


NEWTON: So that is the situation, here, in the United States. Here, in Europe, though, where the coronavirus picture is, in fact, mixed, let's take a look at where things are compared with the previous week.

Seven countries are holding steady, as you see there, or showing declining new cases while, some are seeing a surge in new infections. One of those countries seeing increases is Germany where health experts say they have now reached the peak of ICU bed occupancy.

Now the uptick in patients is, also, putting a strain on health care workers and leading to staffing shortages. New COVID infections have spiked in Germany, this month. Earlier today, German officials reported more than 17,000 new cases in a 24-hour period.

And to France, now, where more than 100 people are facing fines for defying COVID restrictions at a Paris restaurant. Prosecutors are investigating, after police broke up the secret party, on Friday.

The news comes, right after France began a new lockdown. And similar events were, already, driving controversy. Jim Bittermann joins me, now, from outside Paris.

And, Jim, you know, it's clear, right?

Pandemic fatigue is as much of a threat to public health as those new variants. You know, are authorities saying what their next steps will be, given

that spike in hospitalizations there?

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SR. INTL. CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's -- that's a good question because, in fact -- they are -- they are -- one of the things they're going to do is accelerate the vaccination program.

But this, sort of, public awareness has got to continue to be something that is emphasized here because the -- the government wants everybody to know that these restrictions are serious, that they are taking this very seriously and that the -- the people should take this very seriously, as well.

They've got police out, this weekend. It's the first weekend of the school vacation. So they're making sure that people are obeying the restrictions in terms of geographic movement.

That thing about the restaurant in Paris, that's just one of a number of busts that have taken place over the weekend. Our colleagues at BFM television were taken along in a different part of Paris, where they, also, busted a restaurant and handed out fines to people. So it's the kind of thing that is going on, not only in Paris but all across the country.

And the COVID fatigue is definitely there. So the vaccination campaign, they are going to -- the -- the government's going to accelerate things starting tomorrow. Basically, from tomorrow onward, people over the age of 55, no matter what their underlying health condition, no matter what their occupation, will be able to get a first shot of a vaccine.

And the government's also going to delay the second shot of the mRNA vaccines that require two shots. They are going to delay them, from four weeks, to six weeks. The idea there being they will be able to get out more first shots because they really want to step up and accelerate this vaccine program.

And, of course, they want to accelerate vaccine awareness. And they've done that with a publicity campaign, that includes something that President Macron put up on his Instagram site, this video. Have a look at this.



BITTERMANN (voice-over): So there, you can see, Paula, kind of a hipper approach to emphasizing that people should get their vaccinations. Paula.


NEWTON: I'm not sure, at this point in time, that kind of a campaign's going to do it. I'm really interested in the epidemiology of this, though. You know, this point about delaying the doses was done, in Britain. The E.U., now, likely, following suit. Is there a sense that the E.U., the bloc, the way it's all structured,

has just not been, really, structured the way it needs to be, in order to fight this pandemic?

BITTERMANN: Well, there is that sense. And not only that, there is a lot of criticism; in particular, someone like President Macron is a great believer in E.U. solidarity but he is taking a lot of political hits here because people are saying he should follow the France first policy, in terms of vaccinations because the E.U. has fumbled so badly at distributing the vaccines across the continent.

So it is something that is looked at. And I think they're -- they're approaching it in a different way right now. I think France is taking on this idea that they can take a path it is that's different and apart from what the European governments are taking-- Paula.

NEWTON: Jim, appreciate that update there from just outside Paris. Thank you.

Dr. Peter Drobac is a global health and infectious disease expert at the University of Oxford. He joins me now from Oxford, England.

More than a year, we are still continually talking about this. Just going from the numbers from really around the world has been startling. And then, we move to this anemic rollout of the vaccines.

In the E.U., the E.U. member states are bickering. Europe, really, does need the issue of at least the AstraZeneca vaccine and its safety to be settled, if it's going to be ramp up this rollout.


NEWTON: Why isn't that issue settled, yet?

DR. PETER DROBAC, INFECTIOUS DISEASE EXPERT, OXFORD UNIVERSITY: Well, there have been many different issues with that -- with that particular vaccine relating to the delayed rollout, some political bickering and, of course, some of the safety concerns, which we have seen now, you know, are somewhat validated as we have seen an increasingly strong connection between this vaccine and very, very rare clotting events.

And it's just been -- it's been difficult because these one in 100,000, one in 200,000 events are not going to be picked up in clinical trials. But the cumulative results of these issues over months has been a loss of trust in that particular vaccine and to an extent, vaccines in general. And so, overcoming that mistrust is going to be a hurdle.

The good news for Europe is, as they look out to the next three months, they are expecting hundreds of millions of doses of a number of different vaccines; in fact, particularly, the Pfizer vaccine.

And so, the -- you know, the supply shortages that really plagued their rollout in the -- in the last couple months, you know, should go away. And so, I think we're already -- we're already seeing a real increase in the -- in the vaccination rates in countries, like Germany, which is really approaching U.S. rates on a population adjusted basis.

And I do expect things to pick up but there is a long way to go.

NEWTON: Yes, but you do need not just all hands on deck, all vaccines on deck, right?

And what are the hurdles, at this point, to actually achieving herd immunity by summer?

The E.U. vaccine chief said that is the goal. You know, think about it today. In the United States, 4.6 million in a 24 hour period.

How is Europe going to get there?

Because you know it needs to.

DROBAC: That's right. And you know, a lot of the infrastructure has been built -- a month ago we were actually sitting -- seeing millions of doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine on the shelves, unused, in -- in Europe.

Now we are actually seeing those rates start to pick up. I want to come back to that idea of herd immunity, though, that you -- that you -- the E.U., excuse me, does have a target of 70 percent vaccination by the end of summer.

You know, we seem to hold out this herd immunity concept as like there is a magic number, at which all of this is going to go away. And that's really a misunderstanding of how herd immunity works.

It depends, a lot, on what the baseline level of infection is. It depends on other factors, like variants. So it could be anywhere from 70 percent to 90 percent. And in a place where the virus is raging, it's going to be a lot higher than a place where transmission is under control.

And so, I think we need to -- we need to be careful about that. We, also, need to be thinking about how hard it is going to be to get there. At a certain point, we are going to hit a wall where most of the people who want to get vaccinated have been vaccinated. And we have to convince the rest.

Then, there is the whole issue of the 20 percent to 25 percent of our populations that are children. And until they get vaccinated, I don't see us realistically achieving so-called herd immunity.

NEWTON: Yes, and, obviously, good news that at least one vaccine, perhaps the Pfizer, may be given to younger -- younger children. I guess, the problem is we're not even giving these vaccines to the majority of people in the world. This really is an equity -- equity problem.

Do you see a situation, though, where, if we start to get further down the road of immunization, especially, in a place like Europe, that, this can accelerate, then, vaccinations, right around the world?

And what do you think the timeframe is for that?

DROBAC: Well, I hope so. What's clear, you know, from the U.S., from the U.K. and from Europe, is that there has been a lot of hoarding of vaccines, as these countries and regions try to bring their own outbreaks under control, that, there is a massive uptick in supply.

But the -- the approach is going to be, look, we are going to take care of ourselves first. And then, the rest of the world can have our leftovers. The one exception to that is the COVAX facility, which is starting to produce, at scale.

There is still a real supply shortage. Things are improving as we get through the summer and the global north starts to bring their outbreaks under control. We should see that start to shift.

But if you look at projections right now, for example, in sub Saharan Africa, we are not really expecting an adequate number of doses to reach that region until, perhaps, 2023. And that's a real tragedy and, obviously, a risk to all of us.

NEWTON: Wow, 2023. Just think of that. Dr. Peter Drobac at the University of Oxford, appreciate it.

DROBAC: Thanks, Paula.

NEWTON: Coming up. New details about funeral arrangement for Prince Philip.

Plus, some African countries are paying their own, special tributes to the late duke as they remember Britain's longstanding ties to the continent's Commonwealth nations and, of course, its colonial past.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So I feel, to the world and truly as a former colony of Britain, they have really given us a big blow towards that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To me, as even a (INAUDIBLE) I didn't think it would mean that much, to me much. But to the monarchy, it's a big step, considering he was a consort to the queen. So I meaning there is a gap for her.






NEWTON: So seems to be no end, right now, to the tributes worldwide for Prince Philip, who died peacefully on Friday at the age of 99. Now images of the Duke of Edinburgh lit up London's Piccadilly Circus as well as BT Tower. Elsewhere, there were 41-gun salutes in his honor.





NEWTON (voice-over): Rounds were also fired at the Tower of London, Edinburgh Castle and from ships at sea. Prince Charles says his father would have been touched by the reaction to his death.



CHARLES, PRINCE OF WALES: My dear papa was a very special person who, I think, above all else would have been amazed by the reaction and the touching things that have been said about him and from that point of view we are, my family, deeply grateful for all of that. It will sustain us in this particular loss and at this particularly sad time.



NEWTON: Now the ceremonial royal funeral service for Queen Elizabeth's husband will take place on Saturday, April the 17th. It will, of course, though, be low-key, in line with his wishes and COVID guidelines which allow for, at most, 30 people to attend.

Prince Harry will fly over, from California, although, his wife, Meghan, who is pregnant with their second child, is staying home in Los Angeles, on her doctor's advice.

And we just learned, a short time ago, that the Archbishop of Canterbury will lead a service at the Canterbury Cathedral that is expected to start about an hour from now and we go straight to CNN's Isa Soares who is standing by for us, live, from Windsor.

Isa, we do have some details about the funeral.

But what about the public's involvement?

It's been clear after what you have been showing us the last couple days, people do want to show their gratitude to Prince Philip.

ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Very much and that continues. Good morning, Paula. That continues today. I have seen many people, already, with bouquets of flowers, trying to come here to pay their respects; some, coming empty-handed, just sitting here by Windsor Castle to pay their respects in silence.

So I think some will be somewhat saddened if not disappointed there won't be a public procession. There won't be public involvement. And we have Prince Charles, in that short clip we just played, he also said that he was saddened, the royal family was saddened, that the public cannot be involved in his father's funeral.

But I -- I, very much, believe that, on that day, Paula, on the 17th of April, I suspect people will still come out here to Windsor Castle, if only just to stop, stay in silence, stare at Windsor Castle.

In particular, that moment of silence, when -- when the duke's coffin arrives at St. George's Chapel, when you have that moment of silence, I think, that's the moment that you will probably see large swaths of people here to come and pay their respects -- Paula.

NEWTON: Yes. That's quite insight there because it will be, both, spontaneous but it also has to be safe. The issue of Harry coming to the funeral.

Is it a royal reckoning or a reconciliation?

A lot of anticipation about this.

SOARES: Well, could really go both ways, can it not, Paula?

Look, it's one thing, for sure. It's a bit like the weather. It's definitely going to be frosty. All eyes are going to be on Prince Harry, on Prince William and also, Prince Charles because it's the first time, remember, that Prince Harry will be seen next to his brother and his father since that bombshell interview with Oprah, where he said, if you remember, that his brother was trapped in this monarchy.

And he clearly pointed out that the relationship with his father wasn't as strong as it used to be. So I think all the cameras will be on their body language and to see whether they have reconciled.

This is an opportunity for them, like you say, to reconcile, for them to come together, put aside their differences and heal those wounds. The question will be, as they walk shoulder to shoulder behind their grandfather's coffin, a man they admired and looked up to and who they were very close to, it's just whether that union and that bond will be close or whether it will all put on a show for the cameras.

But many people, wanting the two brothers to reconcile after what was been a, clearly, very traumatic and painful time for both of them -- Paula.

NEWTON: Yes, and a very traumatic time for the country, as well, given everything everyone's gone through there. Isa Soares in Windsor, thanks so much.

Now African countries have been paying their special respects to the prince, especially, those that are part of the commonwealth of nations. Now 54 states worldwide, take a look there, make up the political association. And Queen Elizabeth II is its head.

Our Eleni Giokos explains why Africa became so meaningful for the monarch and her husband. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ELENI GIOKOS, CNNMONEY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was on a trip to Kenya that the lives of then Princess Elizabeth and her husband, Philip, would be forever changed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They went up the tree as a couple and one came down as a queen, who was a princess. And that was then the current queen of England.

GIOKOS (voice-over): In 1952, while staying at Treetops hotel, Elizabeth became queen, after her father, King George VI, died in his sleep after a bout with lung cancer back in England. Philip was the one that broke the news to her, which would alter his part as well.

He gave up his much-loved career in the navy and embarked on a life as the queen's consort. In this role, he would become a familiar face to the Commonwealth countries of Africa, which were once under British rule.

He met some of the continent's most famous leaders, sometimes accompanied by the queen; other times, representing the crown on trips on his own.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth's husband, has died at age 99.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tributes have continue to pour after the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, died.

GIOKOS (voice-over): His legacy in Africa for some is summed up by his passion for environmental conservation. The duke was once president of the World Wildlife Fund, though he loved to hunt and fish.

The president of Cameroon tweeted that he will continue to inspire generations who have been marked by his fight for the protection of the environment.

But for some, his impact across Africa can't be separated from the dark history of British colonial rule.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Basically, to me, as a Ugandan, I don't think it would mean that much to me. But to the monarchy, it's a big step, considering he was a consort to the queen. So meaning there is a gap for her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's just held up by years and years of the legacy of colonialism, that's what holds it up. That's the only reason why we care about that news.

GIOKOS (voice-over): Many commonwealth leaders tweeted their condolences to the royal family and especially to the queen, saying, the man who brought her those difficult tidings decades ago won't soon be forgotten. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is sad, yes, because we've lost a life. But then

looking at the age he was, I guess it's a celebratory thing, really celebrating the prince's life.

GIOKOS (voice-over): Eleni Giokos, CNN, Johannesburg.


NEWTON: Now Prince Philip was, of course, deeply passionate about sport, as well. And tributes have been taking place at matches and venues right across Britain. A moment of silence was observed before Rugby Union games and Premier League matches over the weekend. The Grand National has, also, paid tribute to the duke, who, himself, had been a world champion equestrian and horse lover.

Canada is in its third coronavirus wave and it's turning into a nightmare. When we return, why experts say the worst may be, yet, to come.

And a glimmer of hope in the battle against COVID-19. Meet a 104 year old woman from Colombia, recovering from the virus for a second time.





NEWTON: Welcome back to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Paula Newton and this is CNN NEWSROOM.

Canada is on its third coronavirus wave. And as you can see there, it is projected to be the worst one, yet. Now new daily infections hit a pandemic record, this week with Canada's top doctor saying variants of concern have quadrupled in the last two weeks, alone.

Officials say hospitalizations are spiking and critical care admissions, right across the country, are up more than 20 percent in the last week. Now they are, also, warning that there's a surge of young people being admitted to hospitals with COVID.

Also, important here to note, Canada broke a record this week for vaccine doses administered. But officials worry, it will not, at this point, slow down the increase in cases.

Dr. Tasleem Nimjee is an emergency room physician at Humber River Hospital and she joins me now from Toronto. She is also the physician lead for the hospital's COVID response.

And, Doctor, Toronto has really been in a tough situation, you know, a lockdown, some form of it since the end of November. And still, still, it has become record breaking, really, what's going on.

How would you describe the situation going on in the hospitals that you work in right now?

How does it compare to the first and second waves?

DR. TASLEEM NIMJEE, SR. DIR. OF MEDICAL INNOVATION & TRANSFORMATION, HUMBER RIVER HOSPITAL: So this is -- this is nothing like the first and second waves, which is hard to even think about or say. But this is, by far, the worst it has been for us. And it's unfortunate, because I think we sort of saw that the writing was on the wall.

And we didn't have the right, sort of, steps in place for us to not be here. And now, we're at a point where we are, sort of, using all kinds of levers that we haven't had to use, before to be able to create capacity in our system, where we don't have it.

NEWTON: And what are those levers?

I mean, are they some things that are kind of shocking to you, as a health professional?

NIMJEE: Yes, so there's things we have never done before. So what we did do and we have two, when this began, is move patients around. And so, that's transferring patients to hospitals that don't have as much COVID activity or have capacity to sort of load balance or load share and to support those that are overrun.

But in addition to that, now, what's new this week is that we have actually, at least in the province of Ontario, what we have now is a new health care resource redeployment act.

So this is where we are leveraging nurses from home and community care and maybe other parts of the province to then, move into parts of the province that are hard hit, primarily in the greater Toronto area. And so, that is new and provides us a little more support.

And in addition to that, what we have now, for the first time ever, is the ability to bypass consent. So one of the challenges we had is, in the transfer of patients, if the patient doesn't consent to that then, it becomes a bit more challenging.

And now, we have that option or that -- you know, that sort of lever available to us, where, if there is no ability to care for a patient within a hospital in the city, we can actually send that patient to a hospital where they will get better care because there's capacity.

NEWTON: Yes. And to be clear, these are unprecedented decisions, right?

Not decisions you have ever had to make on behalf of a patient.

NIMJEE: No, absolutely. These are unprecedented. And this is not a decision that was made lightly. Like, you can imagine the number of conversations that took place, at the various levels, within health care and within the government to make decisions like this. So absolutely, unprecedented.

NEWTON: Are you seeing younger, sicker patients? And anecdotally, do you believe this is, for sure, linked to the variants?

NIMJEE: Yes. So in Ontario, we are at a position now where we have over 80 percent of our cases that are positive are actually a variant of concern, that's B.1.1.7. And so, those are -- that's the U.K. variant.

We are also seeing an increase in the Brazil and U.K. variants. We also know, in Western Canada, there's been a big spike in the Brazilian variant, per se. But in addition to that, it is also driving the acuity. And we are seeing that, now, in younger patients.

So we are having increased number of outbreaks, especially, in congregate work settings. And that is leading to a huge increase in those that are being admitted to the hospital in the age 35 to 50 cohort --



NIMJEE: -- 35 to 50. And so, I can tell you that, you know, the hospitals in the greater Toronto area, like in hard hit spots, my hospital being one of those.


NIMJEE: It has people in their 20s, has people in their 30s, in their 40s and their 50s in an ICU bed with COVID.

NEWTON: Just startling, really, because this wasn't what happened from -- from -- in the first and second wave.

From a global perspective, what do you want people around the world to know?

Because, look, early on, Canada's response wasn't perfect. Some have the impression that things have gone better in Canada. And yet, now, here you are. Some people have characterized this, really, as a whole new pandemic.


NIMJEE: Because I think there is a couple things. The difference is we are seeing in age distribution, for example, and in the workplace outbreaks, primarily, are because of the variant. And so, that is certainly something to watch because, here we are, experiencing it.

And part of the reason we are where we are is because of a very challenged vaccine rollout. And so, that has to be part of the conversation here. So when people are looking at what's happening in Canada and asking why, yes, the variants are absolutely driving this major surge that we are in right now.

But our situation, in terms of vaccine supply and distribution have also played a huge role in where we are right now.

NEWTON: And we are going to have to leave it there. Dr. Tasleem Nimjee, thank you, so much. Really appreciate it.

NIMJEE: My pleasure.

NEWTON: Now Brazil is being ravaged by COVID-19 with the second highest death toll in the world, behind the United States. And experts, partially, blame the variant first discovered there for a rise in cases in some of its neighboring South American countries.


NEWTON (voice-over): More than 100 days since coronavirus vaccinations began in South America, a deadly COVID resurgence is striking the region.

"As a state, we have failed," said the Peruvian president Friday, apologizing to all who have lost loved ones in the pandemic.

Peru was among the countries suffering a second wave of infections, as hospitals struggle to keep up. The past week saw more dying, each day, than any, other time this year.

Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, also seeing fatalities rise to record levels. In Brazil, more than 4,000 losing their life, in 24 hours, as the country's outbreak spirals out of control.

During his weekly streaming address, president Jair Bolsonaro said the situation was very complicated. Despite surging deaths, the right wing leader continues railing against local governments that try to impose lockdowns or COVID restrictions. He's, also, deflected criticism for a sputtering vaccine rollout.

While, little over 10 percent of the population has received their first dose, it was in Brazil, where a coronavirus variant was first discovered, which experts now, partially, blame for the region's COVID resurgence.

Several countries have restricted flights and closed their borders with Brazil, as they renew efforts to fight rising cases at home, like neighboring, Colombia. It's curbed movement to and from Brazil and extended its coronavirus measures across the nation.

In Argentina, a nighttime curfew began this weekend, until April 30th. It was announced by the president, from his official residence, where he's self-isolating while he, himself, is infected.

Other countries, like Chile, are also reimposing measures, as previous hopes of an easing pandemic dissolve. Still, despite a grim outlook, right across the region, those who look can find small victories.

Hospital staff in northern Colombia cheered this 104-year-old woman, who recovered from coronavirus for the second time. She was discharged after a 21-day stay. One of the lucky to survive, her miraculous story, a rare moment of hope, as South America continues a grueling battle with COVID-19.


NEWTON: Now one of the most heartbreaking things about the coronavirus pandemic is people suffering and dying alone in hospitals without their loved ones nearby. It's been going on for so long now. But here is something a Brazilian nurse came up with to offer comfort and also, help measure patients' oxygen levels.

You see it there. She filled two medical gloves with warm water and shaped them as hands, as if they were holding the hand, really. Now it mimics the human touch and warms patients' hands all at the same time.

The journalist who tweeted the picture called it "the hand of God," and, of course, I would say it's been put there by angels. So many health care workers doing their best, still.

The latest reports from Myanmar reveal a weekend of deadly violence. People are fleeing police raids and security forces using heavy weaponry. We will have a live report from the region, next.





NEWTON: A witness on the ground in Myanmar tells CNN people are fleeing the town of Bago. That's where a monitoring group says security forces killed at least 82 people, on Friday.

Now these images, as you see in there, show armed officers, clearly, converging and moving through a residential neighborhood. The military claims it was attacked by protesters.

However, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners reports troops used rifles, hand grenades and even rocket propelled grenades on people's homes. The group says the military has killed more than 700 people since the coup in February. But they estimate the actual death toll could be much higher.

CNN's Paula Hancocks is following the story for us, from neighboring, Thailand.

And, Paula, thanks for being with us. I know how closely you are following this. And when you look at the killings by the military, they are allegedly indiscriminate and described, now, really, as a reign of terror. They are so young, they are not backing down.

What is the risk that an armed resistance now, will take hold in the streets?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Paula, the vast majority of these protests are and have always been, from day one, peaceful. This is a civil disobedience movement, from the protesters, themselves. And certainly, it is not even comparable when you consider what both sides have in order to protect themselves.

Now we heard, from the military, accusations that it was actually the protesters in Bago, a city, just about 60 kilometers from Yangon, that were attacking the military. And it's simply, unbelievable, at this point.

Now you say that, that advocacy group, AAPP, described the heavy armory and the heavy machinery and weaponry that the military was using, for example, rocket propelled grenades. Now they do accuse the protesters of having handmade guns, handmade grenades, handmade shields.


HANCOCKS: But quite frankly, a handmade shield is not going to do much against a rocket propelled grenade.

So we are seeing a very significant death toll in that city, from Friday. It's still not a confirmed figure, either. AAPP acknowledges that the actual death toll is likely to be far higher than that more than 80 that they have confirmed, at this point.

The military, for its point of view, says they believe that one protester was killed the entire day. But one eyewitness we did speak to said that many of the people within that city have fled to neighboring villages.

And they also say that the military's moving, from neighborhood to neighborhood and looking for protesters. So this isn't over it appears, at this point. They also say that they had heard that -- that -- that bodies were piled up at the mortuaries, which is a horrible thought.

And -- and we do have other reports, as well, saying that the military actually took some of those bodies, putting them on the back of military trucks and taking them away. That is something that we have heard, repeatedly from the beginning of these protests, when the -- the military, first, started to use significant violence against them.

Now on the other hand, as well, you, also, have, on Friday, 19 protesters being sentenced to death for what the military says is causing the death of two military affiliated individuals.

Now we don't know the exact details of this. This was on military's state run television. But it's interesting, the fact that there is no repercussions and the -- the -- the military can kill with impunity on the streets of Myanmar. But when it comes to, potentially, something the other way around, now, those 19 have now been sentenced to death.

NEWTON: Some of the video we were just seeing there from Bago. It really does seem the military is on the streets, in full force, with heavy weaponry, as you said. Paula Hancocks for us, in Bangkok. Thank you. Now the smell of sulfur, as well as heavy ash are blanketing the

island of St. Vincent. It is all from that erupting volcano. We'll be right back with an update.






UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wow. Look at that. Look at that.

NEWTON (voice-over): Look at that, indeed. Ankur Singh caught this incredible view of a waterspout swirling over the Gulf of Mexico, near Panama City Beach, Friday, on -- pardon me, Florida, on Saturday. It wasn't just a rare sight, though. When it turned over land, it caused a power blackout, damaged buildings and knocked down trees.

Singh tweeted, it was, quote, "a fierce tornado, glad we are heading back now."

Meantime, emergency officials in St. Vincent say an extremely heavy ash fall and the stench of sulfur are now blanketing the entire 20 mile length of the Caribbean island. Now it's coming from La Soufriere volcano in the north, all the way to the capital, Kingstown, in the south.

The ash has even reached neighboring islands. Now officials say the volcano erupted at least three times on Friday. And it could keep exploding for weeks.


NEWTON: People have endured plenty of shortages, as we know, during the pandemic.

Who could forget the toilet paper?

Then, there was the bleach. And yes, I know, yeast, as well. OK, now it's ketchup. Tom Foreman has more.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Every day across the country, restaurants are looking for customers in the midst of COVID. And at the Blake Street Tavern in Denver, Chris Fuselier is also looking for ketchup.


CHRIS FUSELIER, OWNER, BLAKE STREET TAVERN: You know, my chef came up to me one day and said, Chris, I got a problem here. I hate to tell you this but we're out of Heinz.

I go, wait a minute, what are you talking about?

FOREMAN (voice-over): The ketchup shortage began with new health guidelines last year discouraging traditional dining room service and pushing drive-through delivery takeout and curbside pickup. In response, out went the big bottles and in came those cute little packets perfect for takeout.

Soon, demand was outpacing supply so badly, "The Wall Street Journal" says the seafood chain Long John Silvers spent an extra half million dollars dealing with the shortage. That's a lot of clams.

HEATHER HADDON, RESTAURANT REPORTER, "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL": At some of their restaurants, we talked to got these 5-gallon tubs of ketchup. And they filled little souffle cups with them, they looked at alternate dispensers. And, again, this takes time and money to do.

FOREMAN: Heinz, which makes more ketchup than anybody else, says this month it will launch a 25 percent increase in production, totaling 12 billion ketchup packets a year.

End to end, that's almost enough to go to the moon and back. And that's appropriate since, yeah, astronauts have ketchup in space.

Still, with summer cookouts, camping trips and whatever this is coming around, condiment connoisseurs could be squeezed for a while. Back in Colorado where Major League Baseball's all-star game is on the way, Chris is just hoping he can keep up with the ketchup demand.

FUSELIER: I'm going to order now. No kidding. I got 100 days.


NEWTON: Our Tom Foreman there for us.

Salsa, anyone?

Yes, I know, you have to have ketchup.

That wraps it up for CNN NEWSROOM. I am Paula Newton. I will be right back, in a moment, with more news.