Return to Transcripts main page
India's Neighbors Feel Impact of Catastrophe Next Door; Journalist Documents Man's Quest to Get Help for Sick Parents; Israel's Parliament to Hold Memorial for Stampede Victims; Manchester United Fans Storm Pitch to Protest U.S. Owners; India Scrambles for Oxygen as Daily Cases Stay at 300K+; Secondary Schools Reopening Across France; Reporting on the Myanmar Crisis is Dangerous Work; Biden Administration Seeks To Reshape U.S. Standing Abroad. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired May 3, 2021 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN ANCHOR: Hospitals full and oxygen low as India faces the worst of the pandemic to date.
U.S. secretary of state signals that China and Russia will be high on the agenda as G7 countries meets in London.
And Manchester United fans stormed the pitch before one of the biggest games of the year. The focus of their outrage? The club's American owners.
Hi. I'm Robyn Curnow. Thanks for watching me. You're watching CNN.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center, this is CNN NEWSROOM with Robyn Curnow.
CURNOW: Great to have you with me this hour.
So, India is hurtling towards 20 million COVID cases as a recorded more than 300,000 cases a day for the 12th consecutive day in a row. Now, the country also reported more than 3,400 deaths on Monday alone as you can see from this graph. Indians battle to get much needed medical oxygen.
People are scrambling to get vaccinated also in the country. But in some states, vaccination drives are being pushed back due to a shortage of shots. And several regions have imposed lockdowns and restrictions, including the capital, New Delhi, were a locked has been extended until May the 10th.
Well, Anna Coren is following the story from Hong Kong and brings us all of the details -- Anna.
ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Robyn, you mentioned the vaccination rollout. The health ministry has just announced that 2.2 percent of the population has now been fully inoculated. We are, however, reporting a severe shortage of vaccine. In some states over the weekend, which we're hoping to roll out the program to everyone over the age of 18, they had to delay that because of the acute shortage.
Russia's Sputnik vaccine, that started to arrive on the weekend, hoping to alleve (ph) some of the burden but the shortage is real.
The other shortage is oxygen. And we saw over the weekend, a hospital in New Delhi actually run out of oxygen, eight patients there died. We have seen this time and time again, over the past couple of weeks, during the height of this second wave.
The Supreme Court has weighed into this, telling, ordering the central and state governments to create an oxygen buffer. A stockpile if you like. They are saying that the shortage in Delhi must be rectified by today, because many people are saying if this is happening in the capital, if Delhi itself is running out of oxygen, what does this mean for the rest of the country?
Now, we know that the prime minister met with cabinet ministers yesterday to address the shortage of oxygen, as well as the enormous strain being placed on the medical system, on hospitals, that had just been stretched to the point of collapse, really. Doctors and nurses themselves coming to this virus.
It's being thought that maybe final year medical students will be brought in to help at these hospitals. The other idea being bandied about to trying to leave the oxygen shortage is to convert nitrogen plant into oxygen plants. That's something that the prime minister tweeted about overnight.
But, you know, Robyn, it's quite staggering. We have yet to actually hear from the prime minister himself. He gave that radio address over a week ago. It's part of something that he does every month. But in the last week, we are yet to hear from him. He's tweeted and he has been tweeting overnight about the election results.
His party, the BJP, suffered a humiliating election defeat in West Bengal. It was a state that they were trying to win. They have never won West Bengal. However, the loss there really quite shocking to the BJP, and many believe that it is a reflection of the prime minister and the BJP's handling of this second wave, Robyn.
CURNOW: Anna Coren, thank you for that.
Joining me now is Manu Prakash, associate professor of bio engineering at Stanford University's Center for Innovation and Global Health.
Thanks for joining us.
There is certainly such a urgency when we look at what is happening in India right now. Isn't there?
MANU PRAKASH, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, STANFORD UNIVERSITY CENTER FOR INNOVATION IN GLOBAL HEALTH: Yes. The last 7 days have been devastating. [01:05:01]
There's really no other word to describe that.
CURNOW: You've written that the fire that we're seeing in India, the COVID fire there, it's a warning for all nations, for the globe, because once a fire is put out in India, there's real concern that it could be lit somewhere else.
PRAKASH: Yeah, I think, I mean, I don't know how we are going to first stop this fire in India right now. Just the sense of we need policies put in place currently, an immediate places to really put a stop to it. And as yet, we're not seeing large-scale changes that would be necessary.
So, first of all, I am with my coauthor deeply concerned with -- we are not acting at the speed we need to act, even in India. But, of course, the challenge has been that these fires have been waiting all across the globe. We've taken a strategy of one country at a time, kind of a whack-a-mole type of an approach. And, yes, we are extremely concerned that this is exactly what is going to happen.
Firstly, in a much larger region in south Asia, but then many other places where vaccines are not even planned to be deployed even for two years from now.
CURNOW: So, what needs to be done? What's a global leaders need to do? What the regional leaders need to do? I know you have written that there needs to be more cooperation. There needs to be more sharing of technology. Even this mRNA vaccine recipe, that needs to be shared.
Do you think that will be done?
PRAKASH: From what I've seen so far, I think I see a very sleepy response to this entire crisis in the world. We have all been talking about this pandemic for a long while. People have been fatigued.
The focus has -- our response has never been about extinguishing a global pandemic. Frankly, at this moment when I see the kind of collaboration that you would have wanted to have to extinguish the virus is not there.
CURNOW: You talk about a forever pandemic. Also the implications for the globe involve COVAX, because India is supposed to be providing vaccines for many countries around the world, particularly in Africa for example. Now that is also being delayed for a while.
How does that also impact your assessment of a forever pandemic where we are playing whack-a-mole as you say, with different epidemics popping up again all over the world? Even if say, America is largely vaccinated.
PRAKASH: Yeah, I think India has played a pivotal role in vaccine production, and it's just been incredible in terms of how things had ramped up. But this really throws a wrench in much of the plan to vaccinate the globe. A pandemic can only be stopped when you really think of communities as a whole. And I don't see, unless something is done now, you know just this approach of vaccinating the country, even 100 percent. Is that truly protecting the best interests of that country?
I would argue even for the sake of the countries that have very high vaccination rates, this would be the time to really apply principles of public health. For a global crisis you need global Cooperation. And unfortunately, for the last year, we haven't seen it.
And now, when there are just such striking signs, we're a large portion of the world, where the resources are just extremely limited, and the mortality rates will be far higher than what we see otherwise primarily because people can't even get oxygen. They are gasping for air, and on the other hand, they're still deliberating these policies to figure out what the best strategy is to get these life saving tools.
CURNOW: Manu Prakash, thank you very much for joining us.
PRAKASH: Thanks so much for having me.
CURNOW: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says more than 245 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered as of Sunday. But demand is slowing. Experts say tens of millions more people need to be vaccinated to control the spread of the coronavirus and its variants in the U.S.
Meanwhile, the European Union is considering ways to allow Americans and Europeans to travel within the bloc this summer, as long as they prove that they're fully vaccinated. A so-called COVID certificate is being negotiated.
In France, secondary students are headed back to school. They'll be able to switch between in person and remote learning, so classrooms will only be half full. But for some, those COVID safeguards aren't enough, and an already difficulty year looked -- said to be even worse for students who've lost a loved one due to the pandemic.
Melissa Bell reports now from Paris.
MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's been a year since Grace and her sisters lost their father to COVID-19.
Grace, who's asked us not to use her surname, is in her final year of high school. All she wants now is to make her father proud.
One of the hardest things she says was having to go back to school last September, burdened not only by her grief, but also by her fear.
It's not even for myself that I was worried, she says, but about catching it and passing it onto a cousin or nephew, I would have felt terrible even if it wouldn't have been my fault. France has made keeping schools open its priority. Throughout the
pandemic, French schools lost 10 weeks of school, according to the U.N., compared to the 14 lost by American children.
JEAN-MICHEL BLANQUER, FRENCH EDUCATION MINISTER: We are really convinced that it's necessary for children to go to school. Not only for education, but also for interactions with the others, and for psychological and health reasons. So, (INAUDIBLE) to say that COVID is a key question but it's not the only question.
BELL: In the end, France did close schools in April for one month amid a wider lockdown. On Monday, high school kids will go back to class with more testing and tighter measures. Speaking exclusively to CNN France's education minister says the French experiment has show that it is possible to make the schools safe.
BLANQUER: I believe thanks to the different studies that we have that school is not a specific place for contamination. Of course, you can have contamination in school. But not specifically, because at school, there are rules, and those rules are respected, which is not the case in the other aspects of life.
BELL: But some schools did suffer disproportionately. Grace's school on the outskirts of Paris in one of Paris is poorest regions saw 22 children (INAUDIBLE) relative to COVID-19 in 2020. And this year, hundreds of children and staff got sick.
MAELLE BENZIMERA, STUDENT, EUGENE DELACROIX: Well, I was really scared because I knew that if I caught the virus I would be a little sick but I wouldn't be sick to go to the hospital. Whereas if my parents or grandparents have the virus, I know that they could die or could go to the hospital, and it's pretty scary.
BELL: Teachers here tried to get the school closed down but to no avail. They say that to little was done to keep them safe.
COLLEEN BROWN, ENGLISH TEACHER, EUGENE DELACROIX: France may be exceptional in that they have kept schools open at all costs, but they haven't been successful it funding the school so they could do that safely.
BELL: Nationally too, France's policy is coming from much criticism. The minister accepts that it may not have been protect he says they're focusing on in class learning was the right thing to do.
BLANQUER: The strongest critics were in May, 2020, at the beginning when many people say you should not open, the critics was strong because of the consensus of the society was created around the opening of school.
BELL: And even Grace who bore such a heavy burden personally says she has achieved her aim. Thanks to her teachers, she says she expects to do well in her final exams.
And she says when she sees how well she's doing, she says she thinks of her father looking down and feeling the pride he always hoped she would.
Melissa Bell, CNN, Paris.
CURNOW: Thanks to Melissa for that.
So, in Southeast Asia, Myanmar's security force killed at least eight protesters on Sunday as large crowds gathered across the country to protest military rule. Now, that's according to human rights organizations there.
For more on this and the challenges journalists faced actually covering the Myanmar crisis, I want to bring in Paula Hancocks.
Paula, hi. What can you tell us?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Robyn, Myanmar is rapidly becoming one of the most dangerous places for a journalist to work. They are still trying to get the news out despite the military trying to silence journalists and those who have a voice.
Now, up until this point, dozens have been arrested. Dozens are still behind bars. So, May 3rd being World Press Freedom Day, it is an important chance to look at the incredible work, and the brave work that many local journalists are doing.
(SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
HANCOCKS (voice-over): Ye Wint Thu (ph) spent the last weeks after the military coup on the streets of Yangon talking to protesters.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the last fight for the country. They don't give up.
HANCOCKS: An anchor for media company DVB, he and his colleagues rushed to the office on the morning of the coup to collect their equipment and then work from home.
A month later, the military canceled their media license, along with others. They then went underground.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have to do my job, whether it's dangerous or not.
HANCOCKS: When you are able to report on the streets, I mean, what concerns did you have? What's dangers did you face?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, I could die. I could die on the street, like I had to be really, really careful not to get arrested on the street.
HANCOCKS: He was placed on a wanted list when one of his reports was shown at a military press conference, a friend told him to run.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got a call. You are -- it's your time now to run, but I had to run within 10 minutes.
HANCOCKS: In hiding, he is still working, despite the daily Internet shutdowns, relying on images from protesters.
He says, this military crackdown doesn't feel new. When he was 4, his father, a democracy activist, was in prison for 10 years.
More than 70 journalists, arrested since February 1st, according to the U.N. More than 40 of, them behind bars. Some, not yet heard from, since they were taken.
SHAWN CRISPIN, COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALISTS: Myanmar's press freedom crisis has become effectively a humanitarian crisis for its journalists, right? They are being held in prison, there's reports are being tortured in prison. Many are in hiding, and others are leaving the country altogether.
HANCOCKS: Ten years ago in Yangon, I spoke to journalists who were cautiously optimistic for an opening up of media, as the military appeared to accept limited democracy.
THOMAS KEAN, JOURNALIST IN MYANMAR: I will say that you can't have articles about the military, but they're going to be looking at it quite closely.
HANCOCKS: And closely quite a lot?
KEAN: Yeah, yes.
HANCOCKS: Those days, are long gone. The photographer who filmed this doesn't want to be identified as he is also on a warrant list. He says he can now only film security forces from behind closed doors. When he still could go outside, and cover the protests, he said he never felt safe.
He describes one sit down protest, in Mandalay, where security forces, suddenly, started shooting into the crowd.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): They didn't care who they hit, or who they killed. I was so worried, and I didn't know where to run. I just grab those around me, and ran. We were also scared. I was running for my life.
HANCOCKS: He says, it hasn't been paid since the coup, a problem for many inside of the country, daily life is a struggle. He's hiding in a separate place, away from his wife and young son, to try and protect them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I had to send them to another safe house, as the military was arresting anyone in the house, if they can't find that person on the list.
HANCOCKS: He praises the efforts of citizen journalists, doing the job that he is no longer able to do, documenting the brutal military crackdown. Risking their lives to show the world, what is happening, in Myanmar.
HANCOCKS (on camera): And every journalist that we spoke to did mention those citizen journalists, those protesters, on the street, who are still braving the risks, and are still filming what is happening, and trying to get out of the country, so the rest of the world can see exactly with the military is doing -- Robin.
CURNOW: Yeah, certainly, brave work indeed.
Paula Hancocks, thanks for bringing us that story.
And with that in mind, journalists base danger all around the world, the Committee to Protect Journalist tracks obstructions to the free press. And according to their data, five journalist have been killed to see around the globe. Last year, 274 journalists were imprisoned while attempting to do their job, and, currently, there are 66 journalists missing from outlets around the world.
And coming up on CNN, U.S. President Joe Biden is looking to show the world that America is here to stay as a major player on the world stage. So, what are the challenges as the White House further shapes its foreign policy this week?
Plus, Israel's parliament is holding a memorial for those killed during a stampede at a religious festival. A live report, from Jerusalem, that's next.
CURNOW: As the U.S. continues to withdraw from our forces in Afghanistan, a top general says the Afghan military has been leading the fight for quite sometime. Joint Chiefs chairman, General Mark Milley, says the performance of the Afghan troops will be a critical part of peace negotiations.
On Saturday, the U.S. began turning over a base in Helmand province, the site of some of the fiercest fighting.
U.S. President Joe Biden is pulling all American forces out of the country by September 11th.
And President Joe Biden and his administration are also looking to reshape America's image abroad. The U.S. secretary of state is overseas this week. Antony Blinken is in London with a packed schedule, ahead of the first face to face meetings of G7 foreign ministers in more than 2 years.
America's top diplomat tells CBS "60 Minutes" that when it comes to foreign policy, Washington's biggest concern is China.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I think what we've witnessed over the last several years is China acting more repressively at home, and more aggressively abroad. That is a fact.
NORAH O'DONNELL, CBS NEWS: What's China's goal?
BLINKEN: I think that over time, China believes that it can be, and should be, and will be the dominant country in the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: The secretary's remarks fall in line with President Biden's in last week's speech, marking 100 days in the White House. The president identified China as a main rival to the U.S.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In my discussion with President Xi, I told, them we welcome the competition. We're not looking for conflict. But I made it absolutely clear that we will defend America's interest across the board.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: Well, Secretary Blinken is expected to talk with counterparts from Asia in the coming hours. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, as well as India, have been invited to the G7 foreign ministers meeting for the first time.
So, joining me now is David Sanger, CNN political and national security analyst. He's also the national security correspondent for "The New York Times".
David, hi. Lovely to see you again.
I just want to ask you, obviously, Mr. Blinken has arrived in London. No doubt, the American message is going to be multilateralism is back. But is it that easy?
DAVID SANGER, CNN POLITICAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Certainly not, and I think you've seen that already. You know, there was -- in the first hundred days, I think it was incumbent on the administration that say, we're listening to you, we actually want to hear your ideas, we're supporting NATO, so forth, and so on.
Now, they are into harder issues of how you actually manage some of these relationships. And as you've seen even in the first hundred days, there are some significant differences. The United States is steadfastly, against Nord Stream II, the gas pipeline that would run out of Russia, and route around the Ukraine. The Germans, for example, are still pushing for that.
We have seen a reluctance in Europe to take a very hard line on China, in part because of the trade implication. So, we're back -- the good news is we're back to the sort of more
normal differences that you would expect to see between the United States, and its European allies.
CURNOW: So, let's talk about China. Mr. Blinken has given an interview on American television where he said, China is acting more repressive lee at home, more aggressively outside. We all know that. He also said, China wants to overturn the rules based order.
The big question is, what does America, does Biden's foreign policy team, plan to do about that? And how is he going to have conversations with the G7 members about the issues, that he considers, are pressing on the issue of China?
SANGER: Well, it's interesting the phraseology that you mentioned, Robyn, is what you heard from President Biden himself in his message to Congress just a few nights ago, marking his 100th day.
They have, not yet, put together their full range China policy. I don't think we will see that until the summer.
But some elements are already clear. While there is, clearly, a lot more tension, and some things that resemble the old Cold War, this is, primarily, a battle about technological supremacy. It is not one as much of the kind of military confrontation that dominated the Cold War, with Russia, after World War II.
That means trying to understand how the United States, and Europe would cooperate on technology, starting with 5G, but moving to artificial intelligence, robotics, autonomous vehicles, so forth, all areas where they are concerned about the Chinese domination of networks, because who controls the network is, probably, more important in the next couple of years then who controls the sea lanes of commerce that we, traditionally, worried about.
Then, it's a question of how hard you push the Chinese on human rights, whether that's Hong Kong, whether that's suppression of the Uyghurs, that's how they are acting more repressively at home. And then, finally, there is a question of how much you will invest in having a military presence in the Indo-Pacific, and here, we've seen the British for the first time, beginning to deploy out in that region as well.
CURNOW: Please also talk about another potential flash point, Ukraine, Mr. Blinken is going to Kyiv. That is not just a conversation about regional security. It's also about Russia, and Mr. Putin's plans.
What is the point of going to Ukraine?
SANGER: Well, Ukraine, of course, is not a member of NATO, but what you saw in the past month was a flurry of phone calls between Secretary Blinken and his Ukrainian counterpart, between President Biden, and Putin. With the defense secretaries, U.S. defense secretary talking to the Russian counterpart, and that was basically about warning the Russians not turn to those military exercises into an actual incursion into other parts of Ukraine. And that's been the big fear.
And now, of course, the Russians have pulled back, the question is, was their military exercises there, a dress rehearsal for something bigger, or was it a threat to just sort of to test Biden, and see how is -- how he would respond? Remember that while there is a hot war going on on the border, there is a cyber war going on in Kyiv. And as the Russians, continually, threaten the Ukrainian government with cyber intrusions of all kind, including some that in past years have turned off the electric power.
So, this is going to be a multi scale problem for Biden, and Biden knows that Putin is testing him, and testing him in Ukraine.
CURNOW: A lot on the plate of the secretary of state.
Thank you very much, David Sanger. Always good to speak with you.
SANGER: Good to talk to you, Robyn.
CURNOW: And help is now reaching India. The country is receiving much-needed medical supplies, and oxygen from nations around the world. Details on its deepening COVID crisis, that's next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The reason there is so much frustration is they've not communicated with the fans for 16 years. And that leads to this kind of anger we've seen on this level.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: Fans of Manchester United making their frustrations heard, forcing a match postponement. The full story, that's next.
CURNOW: Welcome back to our viewers all around the world. Thanks so much for joining me. I'm Robyn Curnow. You're watching CNN.
So new details on our top story this hour.
India has reported more than 300,000 COVID death cases for the 12th consecutive day. Hospitals, morgues and crematoriums are overwhelmed and people are scrambling to find medical oxygen.
Much-needed medical supplies are arriving from around the world as countries step up to help. But now several nations are also restricting travel from India, including Nepal. The pandemic has shown us over and over that the virus has no respect for borders like Nepal. India's other neighbors also feeling the impact of this crisis next door.
Kristie Lu Stout joins me now from Hong Kong with more.
And Kristie, hi. Certainly real concern about India's neighbors as this growing death toll and infection rate continues to soar in India.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, as the outbreak worsens in India, infections are rising elsewhere in Asia, especially in Nepal. On Sunday, Nepal reported 7,137 new cases of the coronavirus, its highest daily tally so far.
The government has been saying that the situation there is increasingly difficult. We have a statement from Nepal's ministry of health and population, we'll bring it up for you. In it, it says this, quote, "As the number of infections has increased beyond the control of the health system, it has become tough to provide hospital beds for care," unquote.
Local lockdowns have been imposed in cities across Nepal including Kathmandu and that has prompted quite a number of people to leave the cities into the countryside and that is raising concerns that that will facilitate the further spread of the virus.
Nepal is taking additional action. It has sealed the land border with India. It has also announced that it will be an all flights originating from India and 2 other nations starting from Wednesday midnight.
It's not just Nepal. A number of Asian nations from Pakistan to Thailand, et cetera, are all imposing restrictions, lockdowns in an effort to push pack the pandemic.
STOUT: Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka pray for divine help to stop a deadly wave of the coronavirus that is sweeping across India.
KOLUPITIYE MAHINDA SANGARAKITHA THERO, CHIEF PRELATE, KELENIYA BUDDHIST TEMPLE: Buddhist monks and Buddhist people in this country want to share our sympathy with the people of India.
STOUT: India is grappling with the world's worst COVID-19 outbreak with record numbers of infections and deaths. And the crisis has spilled across the border into Nepal, where the capital is now under a two-week lockdown.
Officials say the rate of infections there has increased beyond the control of the health systems in several districts, most of which are near the border of India.
Before the restrictions went in effect, people crowded bus stations to get out of the city. PAVITRA PARIYAR, PASSENGER (through translator): There's fear of
coronavirus. We may die of coronavirus if we stay here. So we are going back to our villages.
STOUT: In Sri Lanka, more than 100 areas across the country are under lockdown because of a jump of infections in April. Schools are closed. And employers are being asked to limit the number of people reporting to work.
The Philippines is extending its lockdown in many cities until mid- May. Last week the country surpassed one million confirmed cases, stretching hospital resources, especially in the country's capital where the outbreak is at its worst.
DR. ROSE MARIE ROSETE-LIQUETE, HOSPITAL DIRECTOR: Beds, we don't enough beds, they are full already.
STOUT: Thailand is converting a check-in terminal in its main airport into a vaccination center.
PHASIN SRISAYAM, THAI AIRWAYS STAFF (through translator): The airport has a lot of space. And the team has managed good social distancing.
STOUT: Bangkok recently closed public parks, gyms, and daycare centers until May the 9th and introduced fines of up to $640 for not wearing a mask in public.
Pakistan is cutting 80 percent of incoming international flights in the next few weeks to try to curb the number of cases there. The military also stepping in to patrol the streets in cities like Lahore to enforce mask-wearing and to make sure shops close at 6:00 p.m.
Countries across the region taking measures to contain the spread of the virus, but it may not be enough for some places.
Singapore announced it is tightening its entry restrictions, closing its border to visitors from Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
STOUT: Experts have pointed out that the best hope for getting out of this COVID-19 crisis is through mass inoculation program. As you saw in that report just now, the video from Thailand where Thailand has turned its check-in terminal at its main airport into a vaccination hub.
Vaccinations are under way, of course, in Indi and in Nepal. Both programs started in January earlier this year but the pace has been slow.
In Nepal, a nation of about 29 million people, only two million people have been vaccinated so far. It is progress but they have to pick up the pace, Robyn. CURNOW: They certainly do. Kristie, thank you so much for sharing that
story with us. Thank you.
Karan Deep Singh is a reporter and a visual journalist at "The New York Times". He documented one man's desperate quest to get medical help when his parents fell seriously ill with the virus. He joins me now.
Good to have you on the show. Your story in "The New York Times" is really a timeline of desperation, wasn't it? It was very powerful in its simplicity. And it was just one doctor's attempts to save his parents.
Just talk us through what you reported.
KARAN DEEP SINGH, VISUAL JOURNALIST, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Thank you.
Well, India's health care system was already precarious, you know. And this predates Modi. The country spends less than $100 per person every year on public health, and that's less than many developing nations.
So what we are seeing now is the health care system is breaking down. It's collapsing. Hospitals are overrun. They are running out of oxygen every few hours. And because of that they're now shutting their doors to patients who need urgent medical care.
Many people like Ajay Koli who I profiled in my story, have resigned to really taking care of their loved ones at home with whatever means that they have. And it's extremely painful to see that happen.
I mean I've had colleagues, friends, myself who needed oxygen, hospital beds, medicines and we're all helpless. And even with all the connections I have as a journalist, I couldn't help.
CURNOW: And he actually tweeted, his dad was sick, his mom was sick with COVID. He tweeted saying can anybody help me with an oxygen canister -- cylinder. And what happened next?
SINGH: Well, to his surprise, his tweet goes viral. And he starts getting a flood of messages, both direct messages, tweets. There are some people who are telling him to call these phone numbers. When he calls the phone numbers most of them are switched off. He wonders they've probably run out of oxygen.
And then there are others who are able to attend his calls and they say you have to pay 45,000 rupees for one cylinder. And all we have for you is a cylinder. We don't have any apparatus for you. we don't have any tube mask, nothing. And we're not going to give you any receipt. There are no guarantees this is going to work but this is all we have.
In that moment, Ajay has, you know, this thought that what if my mother dies? What if I'm not able to help? So he's calling these people constantly --
CURNOW: His dad has just died. SINGH: His father just died and also because of oxygen. He was not
able to get the oxygen cylinder that he'd asked his sister Anjie (ph) to arrange.
CURNOW: Now, what is the end result of this story because it's just -- and I think this is why it's so powerful. It's one man's story, a doctor trying to find oxygen for his dad who died. Oxygen for his mom. He couldn't do it so he starts helping her at home.
And now we understand that he has COVID as well. This is amplified hundreds of thousands of times in India right now today.
SINGH: That's correct. Well, the last I heard from him is that he was feverish, and he just got his coronavirus reports. He turned positive. His mom turned negative. And that is wonderful news for him.
But unfortunately he is down with the same disease that he was trying to cure for his mother.
CURNOW: So as people like that doctor that you picked up, how are people fathoming the political fallout from this? Because we just heard Anna Coren talking about how Narendra Modi hasn't spoken to the nation. There has been a lot of tweets about politics. But not a lot it seems that really impacts the trauma that people are going through right now and offering solutions.
How has this changed people's attitude and sentiment to Narendra Modi?
SINGH: Well, people have criticized Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ruling party, Janata Party, which said in February that they defeated the coronavirus. In March, Mr. Modi's health minister announced that the country was in the endgame of the pandemic.
And these statements were followed by political rallies that gathered hundreds of thousands of people. Mr. Modi and his government allowed religious gatherings to take place in April, at the very height of the second wave, when people were dying of the virus.
And health experts, you know, and political analysts have said that this was Mr. Modi's overconfidence, and his domineering leadership style, which bears a huge share of the burden.
CURNOW: And blame, perhaps according to many Indians.
Karan Deep Singh, thank you very much for your reporting, live there from New Delhi.
SINGH: Thank you for having me.
CURNOW: And as the crisis continues, there are many ways you can help people in India cope with this devastating outbreak.
Go to CNN.com/impact to find out how you can help. Argentina has surpassed three million COVID cases in Latin America. Only Brazil has more. The same day, Argentina's health ministry announced the country reached that milestone, officials launched a nationwide vaccination campaign.
In the meantime hospitals are overwhelmed with patients. Official data shows intensive care beds are more than more 68 percent occupied. Argentina's government has responded with a new round of tougher restrictions. But medical staff say it's not enough.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARLOS KAMBOURIAN, ARGENTINE PEDIATRICIAN: Today the system does not support one more patient, not one more patient. That's it. The water in our glass will start overflowing if this number of infections is sustained, not even if it increases.
It is already overflowing. It is going to overflow more and more. We can continue to extend measures every 15 days from here until two years from now if we don't do what needs to be done. But just to test and vaccinate, test and vaccinate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: And in the coming hours, Israel's parliament will hold a memorial for the 45 victims killed in a stampede on Friday at a religious festival. That memorial will be followed by a special debate to follow lawmakers -- to allow lawmakers the opportunity to address criticisms over the handling of the mountaintop site where the stampede occurred.
Meantime, new video has emerged showing desperate scenes in the enclosed walkway where the stampede happened as the crowd tried to make its way to the exit.
Let's go straight to journalist Elliott Gotkine in Jerusalem. Elliott, hi. If you could just also talk us through this video that we're seeing and also the identities of those who died. It's really quite heartbreaking.
ELLIOTT GOTKINE, JOURNALIST: Robyn, this video is really quite harrowing. It looks to have been taken by someone who is either in the crush or just next to it.
And in it you can see the pain, the desperation etched on the faces of people there who just simply cannot move. They cannot get out. They're completely pinned against what appear to be barriers there.
You can even hear them calling out. One of them was calling out, you know, who's crushing my legs. And then later on the same voice calling out, I'm begging you. I'm begging you. And at the same time you've got stewards and police officers and high visibility vests trying to get the crowd to avoid pushing forward. But seemingly unable to avoid doing so. So really quite harrowing video. And at the same time, more details have emerged about the victims. Now, we know that there were 45 deaths. It now transpires that 10 of them were under the age -- at least 10 of them were under the age of 18. The youngest just nine years old, Yehoshua Englander, who perished along with his 14-year-old brother, Moshe Natan.
The oldest was 65. A rabbi called Moshe Sarfati (ph). And we also know from the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, that six of the victims were U.S. nationals as well.
GOTKINE: One of them, one Menachem Knoblowitz (ph) age 21, he was buried after the Sabbath on Saturday evening. He just got engaged two weeks ago to the daughter of a prominent rabbi in New York, Robyn.
CURNOW: And Elliott, what can we expect later on today then at the Knesset?
GOTKINE: Yes. So this is due to take place around 4:00 p.m. local time. There will be a memorial which will honor the 45 victims of this stampede that took place in the early hours of Friday morning. That will be a very somber, very respectful, very decorous affair.
After that it may be something different because there will be a kind of debate, each member of the Knesset will have up to three minutes to express their condolences, express their solidarity with the victims, and perhaps to ask questions as to how or why this event was allowed to take place.
And why procedures, or safety -- things were not in place to ensure that an accident of this magnitude would not happen. We also understand that for example, others will use the opportunity to call for a state committee of inquiry into this, such as opposition leader Yair Lapid.
It will also be the first opportunity for Ultra Orthodox lawmakers to address some of the criticisms that have been leveled at them including the interior minister, Aryeh Deri, for perhaps in some way being complicit in allowing the event to take place with so many people, and without any, you know, central authority to ensure the safety of those people in attendance.
So all of that is due to take place this afternoon around about 4:00 p.m. local time, Robyn.
CURNOW: Ok. Thanks for that update there, Elliott Gotkine Jerusalem. Appreciate it.
So coming up on CNN the dust still hasn't settled from that failed attempt to form a football super league. Why these fans threw a spanner (ph) in the works at Old Trafford before the match even started.
And TV weather reports that (INAUDIBLE) -- hilarious bloopers courtesy of some uninvited guests from the animal kingdom. We always like TV reports that go a little bit wobbly. We will have that one next.
CURNOW: Anger is certainly mounting towards the American owners of Manchester United Football Club. I want to show you the scenes at Old Trafford just hours before the team was set to play Liverpool in a Premier League match.
Fans are upset with the Glazer Family who own the team and its role in the failed attempt to form a breakaway super league. The match versus Liverpool was postponed to a later day.
Here to discuss this is CNN World Sport's Patrick Snell.
A lot of anger from fans. And I suppose justifiably so.
PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: There's certainly a lot of resentment, no question about this. This is all fallout from, well you could trace it back to 2005 when the Glazer family took ownership of Manchester United.
SNELL: But I do want to start, Robyn, with the images that really did shock the world of football and beyond on Sunday. We are all still taking stock of it, what happened down at United's iconic Old Trafford Stadium.
United versus Liverpool, the biggest rivalry in the English games. The nation's most decorated and famous clubs worldwide. Just look at this. The pitch invaded hours before United was due to play that pitch (ph) against their arch rivals.
The scenes outside as well the protesters actually chanting we want Glazers out -- that's in reference to the United's Florida-based owners who were central to a heavily, heavily criticized plan for that controversial breakaway European super league that was announced last month.
There were -- flares were thrown. There was damage to camera equipment. You can see the aerial shot very revealing there over Old Trafford. Two police officers we now know were injured.
The two teams Robyn not even arriving at the ground to play, the match initially delayed then postponed. United -- well, this is something that they have had to deal with now on this Sunday and all the fallout from it, but the police there in Manchester, they say over a thousand fans have gathered at the stadium. Around a hundred or so actually breaking through onto that famous pitch.
And then another 200, Robyn, protesting at the Lowry Hotel in (INAUDIBLE) for that's is where the United team is based before home games. The team has since left the hotel, I can tell you.
Now, I want to get to the reaction of a former player now in all this, former Liverpool star Jamie Carragher, now working for British TV as a pundit. He was at the ground on Sunday. Liverpool, of course, United's huge rivals. Take a listen to his views.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMIE CARRAGHER, FORMER LIVERPOOL FOOTBALL PLAYER: A lot of the idiots who get involved in this, this thing what Manchester United fans have done today, I actually think it's a good thing, to protest when not happy about what's going on at the club.
There will always be one or two people who took it too far. And that's not just the protest, that's (INAUDIBLE) -- there's always someone who does something stupid.
Yet should that ruin it for everyone and that should dominate the news? No. And it should not things when it's other clubs (INAUDIBLE) or see some other clubs trying to score points.
You know, protesting about what is not right at your football club and behind that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SNELL: Robyn, that was Jamie Carragher, former Liverpool player. He was at Old Trafford, as I say, on Sunday. Back to you.
CURNOW: So when are we going to see this picture which is a very high profile one, Clearly, you know, everyone knows it's a pretty big game. When will it actually be rescheduled to be played?
SNELL: It is a huge global fixture. And right -- as of right now, It's funny, we just don't know at this point.
There are various options on the table. We're going to sort of tabulate them for you. There are potentially six match dates actually available for the end of the season but look, United, Liverpool, or even both playing on all of them. Already it's packed. It really is packed through the end of the season.
It could happen the week starting May the 10th or even after the Europa League final on May the 26th. United though could well be in that Europa League finals well. So an added complication. Liverpool is fighting hard to get into the champion leagues spots as well for next season. That's the UEFA tournament.
There are so many things in play here right now Robyn, we're watching it very closely you can be sure.
CURNOW: I know you will. Patrick, as always good to see you, my friend. Thanks very much.
The fallout still very much there in world sport.
So ahead on CNN. A TV news blooper reel you don't want to miss. You never know when birds or other flying things decide to steal the show.
CURNOW: You're about to see one of the tricks of the trade in live television. What to do when the birds and the bees tried to hog the camera. It's stuff they don't teach you in journalism school.
Here's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Even a certified meteorologist couldn't forecast this.
ADAM EPSTEIN, METEOROLOGIST: Whoa, whoa, whoa. What is going on?
MOOS: A flapping bird in this Sacramento weather cam did not exactly leave Adam Epstein unflappable.
EPSTEIN: Mainly dry. Mainly rain. Sorry, I'm all mixed up. I'm still thinking about that bird.
MOOS: But this latest bird photobomb is far from the first.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here over the city -- look at this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's totally checking out the camera, Mark.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
MOOS: Ok, it's not quite a scene out of "The Birds".
But seagulls have been sighted.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: An advisory from -- ok that is distracting.
MOOS: We're not just talking birds that are camera hogs. We're talking the birds and the bees.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh my God.
MOOS: Add the spiders -- and even more spiders.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And for our area. So let's -- oh my gosh. That was creepy.
MOOS: Could have been worse. A grasshopper famously flew into the mouth of this Emmy award-winning reporter.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let to Chris Woods death -- I'm dying in this country (EXPLETIVE DELETED)
MOOS: At least with the weather cam the critters are on the other side of the lens.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Garden of bugs or flying --
MOOS: Those stationed outside face the biggest threats. Reporting on the harbor seal in London.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh wow, he's having a wee on live TV. That's lovely.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They always do.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Animals and urinating, some dignity.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's very beautiful.
MOOS: Or capitulating to bison at the entrance to Yellowstone.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh my God. No, I'm not messing with you.
MOOS: Or warding off raccoons on the White House lawn.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get --
MOOS: Heaving a footstool.
But that itsy bitsy spider doesn't look so itsy to a meteorologist who's bugging out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE)
MOOS: Jeanne Moos.
CURNOW: I'm just checking behind me.
Thanks so much for joining me. There is much more news, of course, on CNN. Bugs and all.
I'll be right back after this short break.