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Israeli-Palestinian Conflict; CNN Crew Finds Eritrean Troops Blocking Aid In Tigray; Israel Responds With More Airstrikes In Gaza; Report: Slow Global Response Caused Spread Of Pandemic. Aired 12- 12:45a ET
Aired May 13, 2021 - 00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello and welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm John Vause.
Coming up on CNN NEWSROOM, as the conflict escalates between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza, more violence between Jews and Arabs is spreading across Israel.
The preventable pandemic, an independent review if only the WHO had reacted faster, the world could have been spared and warns we're not ready for the next one.
Sacred city under siege, CNN travels to Ethiopia's Tigray region to investigate human rights abuses, roadblocks at almost every turn.
VAUSE: We begin this hour, with militants in Gaza that fired another wave of rockets deep into Israeli territory.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE (voice-over): In Tel Aviv, residents scrambled to shelters. Rockets wer intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome. But a six-year-old child became the latest Israeli casualty. The IDF says 1500 rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip.
On Wednesday, another high-rise building was leveled in Gaza. The Palestinian health ministry says 67 people were killed, includes 17 children. Israel insists it's targeting Hamas intelligence offices.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL (through translator): Yesterday, I told those sons of darkness, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, a short while ago we eliminated the Gaza brigade commander and other commanders. We'll hit them like they've never dreamed possible.
(END VIDEO CLIP) VAUSE: The U.N. Security Council will hold a conflict meeting, the envoy to the council urging calm, stop the fire immediately, escalating toward a full on war. The cost of the war in Gaza is devastating and being paid by ordinary people. The U.N. is working all sides to restore calm. Stop the violence now.
But the violence is not stopping, the airstrikes and the rockets are not the only problem they may not be the. Worst Arabs and Jews who lived side by side for decades, in cities across Israel are now turning against each other.
Videos we're about to show you our graphic, some viewers may find them disturbing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE (voice-over): A right-wing Jewish mob south of Tel Aviv trying to lynch an Arab driver. He was wounded, taken to hospital. Another Arab mob attacked and critically wounded a Jewish man. A local mayor says 70 years of coexistence has been trampled.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: As calls to de-escalate are ignored, innocent people on the ground continue to suffer the worst. Ben Wedeman has the scene from Gaza and, again, a warning, some of the images in his report are disturbing.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Once more, hell is unleashed in a small, crowded place. As Israel's fire and brimstone rained down on Gaza and Hamas and Islamic Jihad rockets roar out of Gaza into Israel, a conflict left to fester again has burst into flames.
"We heard an explosion, two rockets, one after another," says this Gaza resident. "I found my 18-year-old granddaughter dead. My son was injured in the head and his other daughter had a broken leg."
By Wednesday midday, more than 50 people had been killed in Gaza; among them, at least 14 children.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): Hundreds have been wounded. In Gaza where 80 percent of the population are refugees or descendants, once more, they're made homeless.
"At 6:00 in the morning we were told to leave because they were going to bring down the building in front of us," says this man. "We ran out and waited in the street for four hours and, in the evening, went back and found everything destroyed. There's nothing left."
Neither the militant factions nor Israel show any signs of backing down. Israel is moving tanks toward Gaza and Hamas put out videos of its rocket teams, the message clear. Escalation appears inevitable and all the death and suffering that go with it -- Ben Wedeman, CNN, Jerusalem.
VAUSE: Elliott Gotkine is live in Tel Aviv.
There are the public statements and the videos but there are also back-channel communications, trying to find a way to end the violence, at least have a pause in the fighting.
Are there any indications that there are moves to try and move to some kind of cease-fire?
ELLIOTT GOTKINE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That doesn't seem to be much talk about that now, John. Prime minister Netanyahu spoke with President Joe Biden, the office of the government press office, putting out a statement saying that prime minister Netanyahu thanks Joe Biden says Israel's right to self defense, adding Israel will continue but Israel will continue to fight Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza.
So there's no backing down from the Israeli side, given the rockets fired overnight, among the many people in Tel Aviv in shelters, it doesn't look like there is much sign of backing down over there, of course.
Behind the scenes, there will inevitably be an attempt to reach out, to try and mediate some kind of cease-fire -- or let's call them goodwill gestures. But right now, it's hard to see where those are going to come from, when the death toll and the injury toll on both sides continue to mount.
VAUSE: What about the situation with Hamas?
I think there's a lot of concern there about the Israeli -- hitting Israel at a greater number than ever before.
How long can they keep this barrage going?
GOTKINE: This is an open question, it seems that there are obviously an unlimited supply, Hamas has managed to decide things like the wall around the Gaza Strip, looking to find ways, tunnels or other means to smuggle in the materials are needs to manufacture weapons. It needs a weapon manufacturing facility, as they've been one of the targets from the Israeli airstrikes.
When so many hundreds of rockets are being fired, towards Israel it is inevitable some get through. We saw another wreckage in a city just east of Tel Aviv, where rocket landed sparking fires and causing 5 more people to be hospitalized. In that attack.
it just seems like the more they sent through, the more rockets that are fired, some portion will get through. Damage and casualties will be inflicted. That is the situation. It's always been about how advanced, how precise it can get. VAUSE: Elliott, thank, you in Tel Aviv.
Just months into his first term, Joe Biden bracing for a potential war in the Middle East. He has spoken with the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Phil Mattingly reports now on this unwanted crisis now facing the Biden administration.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, President Biden came into office he made clear, the administration would certainly still be engaged in the Middle East, it was no longer going to be the focus.
The focus was so many administrations had been drawn into for decades, the president wanted to move away from. Shift the focus to the Indo- Pacific region, China. But reality has gotten in the way. The president now in constant contact over the increasing violence, the escalation of the feud in Israel, with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My expectation is that this will be closing down sooner than later. Israel has a right to defend itself against thousands of rockets flying into their territory.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTINGLY: The president also making clear, administration officials have engaged with their Israeli counterparts, they're also engaged with Egyptians, with Saudis, with Emiratis, to find a regional solution that is getting worse.
As the administration tries to find a path forward, they're not getting away from the violence in the region anytime soon -- Phil Mattingly, CNN, the White House.
VAUSE: Mark Regev is an advisor to Benjamin Netanyahu.
Mark, thanks for being with us, I want to talk about the mob violence taking place in a number of Israeli cities now between Jews and Arabs. The prime minister specifically called for both sides to end attacks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NETANYAHU (through translator): Citizens of Israel, what's happening in the towns of Israel is intol. Arab rioters torching synagogues, hurting innocent citizens and something we cannot accept. This is anarchy. Nothing can justify it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: It seems that Mr. Netanyahu to went to great lengths to pointout exactly what was going on in the Arab side, but he didn't mention ultranationalist groups taking control of the streets of bats and firearms.
Why not call out both sides of these acts of violence?
MARK REGEV, SENIOR ADVISER TO BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: In fact, he did, John. If you had the video longer, you would've heard him specifically say that there is no justification, no excuse for Jews attacking Arabs or Arabs attacking Jews.
It is certainly unacceptable, he is beefing that up with the support of the military to make sure we bring law in order to our cities. There is no excuse whatsoever for this sort of violence.
VAUSE: Again, specifically the acts being carried out by Arabs, the arson, the attacks, all, the rest of it there is not a similar descriptive, you know.
REGEV: He specifically condemned Jewish vigilante violence and vice versa. I don't know what more he could do. But he's not just talking, he's using the police with a military president to make sure the violence ends.
VAUSE: The longer this goes on, the more will die. One Israeli family is enduring the pain of losing a child. Here is the U.S. secretary of state.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Whenever we see civilian casualties and child caught in the crossfire, that has a powerful impact. And I think Israel has an extra burden to avoid civilian casualties.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: if this is a repeat of 2014 we know the hundreds of children in Gaza will be dead, before this is done, surely that is not an acceptable price.
REGEV: I agree with the secretary of state. I think he's speaking for the spirit of Israel when he says we don't want to see children killed but we're doing everything we can to avoid people who are not involved in this getting hurt.
We don't want to see Israeli children or Palestinian children caught up in this fighting. Unfortunately, we've had 1,500 rockets fired at Israel. We're trying to be as surgical as we can, to combat the situation.
Last night air raid sirens went off across Israel. We are responding to this and want it to end in a way that will not return. Just be clear, we made leading up to this explosion of this crisis, we did everything we could to de-escalate, we did everything to avoid this crisis but Hamas and the other terrorist groups in Gaza were committed to escalation, to violence, to shooting rockets.
REGEV: And we are acting to defend our people, to protect our citizens. We will, in the end, restore peace and quiet.
VAUSE: There've been three major conflicts, a bunch of smaller ones since Hamas took power. In 2008, a report that accused both Israel and Hamas of war crimes said 348 children were killed over 3 weeks. Israel's own numbers say 89 children died.
Four years later, Operation Pillar of Defense, 33 children killed; 2 years after, that Operation Protective Edge, again numbers in dispute but one agency puts the child death toll in Gaza at more than 500.
The loss of lives in this conflict in coming weeks, why keep doing the exact same thing, over and over again, which keeps causing a loss of life?
I know again, Hamas as well. But this is also in Israel.
REGEV: So once again, we are taking as many precautions as humanly possible to avoid --
REGEV: I'd like with your permission to say 2 things. You mentioned the pull out of Gaza 20 years ago, when Israel pulled out of Gaza. It has to be said, Israel is not in the Gaza Strip. It is run by the Palestinians. There's no reason for this violence. The only reason where we are now is that Hamas and the other terrorist groups in Gaza shoot rockets from Gaza into Israel.
Without that, the border would be quiet. That's the ultimate thing that has to be said.
If you don't mind me saying, Hamas and its activities, Hamas, which is a terrorist organization -- United States, Canada, European Union, Britain, Japan, Australia -- the Arab world sees Hamas as a terrorist organization.
They're rocketing Israeli cities, trying to kill our people, a war crime, they're using the children of Gaza as a human shiled.
You see the rockets being shot out of schools, from mosques, civilian neighborhoods in other words by using the civilian population of Gaza as a human shield they are in fact exploiting us, including Gaza children's as human shields a second war criminal under international law.
There's no parity here, you have a democratic state that wants to defend its citizens against terrorism. You have a terrorist group that is acting to willfully attack and kill civilians, while using its own civilians as human shields for its operation. VAUSE: Look, it's disgusting what's happening in Gaza, the rockets and
the civilians being used to protect the military hardware if you like. So many people expect a little bit more from Israel when it comes to high death toll, from the secretary of state in the United States on down.
We appreciate you being with us, thank you, Mark Regev, senior advisor to the Israeli prime minister, thank you.
REGEV: Thanks for having me.
VAUSE: For the Palestinian perspective, I'll speak next hour to the former executive committee member of the Palestine Liberation Organization. She will be with us from Ramallah in the West Bank.
Time for a short break, coming up a firsthand look inside Ethiopia's Tigray region.
VAUSE: After months of reporting on the crisis in Ethiopia's Tigray region, a CNN team has been granted according by the government. The U.N. and U.S. have been receiving these reports but now CNN has captured this on camera.
CNN's Nima Elbagir has this exclusive report.
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's been over a month now since the Ethiopian government promised the United States, the U.N., the world that Eritrean troops had begun withdrawal.
We went to see whether that was true
ELBAGIR (voice-over): A show of force by Ethiopia's national defense force in its Tigray region, a government visibly flexing control.
We traveled outside of the capital Mekelle, across the region, to see if the Ethiopian government has kept the promises to the world. Unimpeded access and the withdrawal of the Eritrean allies. The conflict for control of Tigray blazes on.
Days earlier, these Tigrayan forces fighting for regional autonomy pushed out Eritrean troops from this town.
As we arrived, one young man Kasa (ph) wants to show us where his father, brother and cousin were taken and executed just days ago. The blood is still visible. It stains the ground. They didn't want to wash away his blood. He says they wanted to leave it there. The body they took to the graveyard, but the blood, the place where his father was executed, he -- the family still wants that place marked.
Just a few meters from where Kasa's father died, his brother and cousin were executed, murdered, he says, by Eritreans. The same Eritreans who were supposed to have withdrawn.
We returned with Kasa to his family. In total, just this one family lost seven loved ones less than a week ago.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All of us have to run and hide when they come and even the women. They rape the women and then kill them. May God bring mercy on us, because we don't know what we can do.
ELBAGIR: The Eritreans are not only still here, but a day into our journey and we have found evidence of fresh atrocities. We hear that the holy city of Axum to the west have been sealed off by
Eritrean soldiers for 12 days. We need to see for ourselves.
So, we head out towards Axum, but don't get very far. Something is not right. The team car behind us radios in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Locals said there was shooting up ahead.
ELBAGIR: There's a car coming.
A U.N. driver flashes us a warning, but we decide to press on.
Hello. Salam. Can we go ahead? We are going to go.
UNIDENTIIFED MALE: No problem.
ELBAGIR: Thank you.
But the road ahead is blocked. We get out of the car with our hands up and identify ourselves to the Ethiopian soldiers.
Hey, hello, hello, hello, CNN, CNN, we are CNN, journalists.
ELBAGIR: We are journalists. Sir. Tell us --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Before ask our commander.
ELBAGIR (voice-over): The soldier spots our camera. They are incredibly tense.
ELBAGIR: It's OK, it's OK. We --
ELBAGIR (voice-over): The soldiers close in on us. ELBAGIR: We aren't there.
ELBAGIR: We are.
ELBAGIR (voice-over): As we are pulled to one side, we turn on our covert camera.
ELBAGIR: Unless we are detained, unless we are detained, we are not giving them the camera.
We will only go to the administration, the civilian administration. If you want to have detained a CNN team that's what's happening now. Because we're not going to the camp willingly.
They have now said, that we are allowed to go and meet the general in a civilian location but it is still against our will but we're going.
ELBAGIR (voice-over): On our way to the headquarters we're able to hide our footage and we are later released.
At the local hospital, we find out why the soldiers didn't us to film.
What happened? It's OK. You are clearly in shock. Just take a moment to breathe and then tell us what happened.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We were in the bus station when the shooting started and running to try to get away. That's when it happened.
ELBAGIR: This girl is so scared she is covering her face, but she wants to tell us what happened which is that a grenade detonated in front of a group of soldiers and they started to randomly opening fire on civilians and she is clearly not a soldier. She is a teenage girl and she says that she was shot through the leg.
This is the main route to Axum. It's a vital supply artery, but for 12 days now, nothing has been able to pass.
First checkpoint, Ethiopian soldiers let us through and ahead, we have been warned by senior Ethiopian military sources, we'll find the Eritrean soldiers.
As we cross the hill, before we reached the second checkpoint, we turn on our covert cameras.
Hello, sir. Can I show you our papers?
We are CNN, journalists. And we have permission to travel.
These are the Eritrean troops captured here for the first time on camera, a ragtag army in their distinctive light-colored fatigues, some are also wearing a previously retired Ethiopian army uniform, a clear bid to sow confusion as to whether they are Ethiopian or Eritrean. Eritrean solders are telling us that we don't have permission to travel, even though the Ethiopian soldiers waived us through. The other thing is, Eritrean solders are supposed to have begun withdrawing, but here they are manning a checkpoint and blocking us from going forward.
Hello, sir. How are you? Journalists. We have permission.
You are asking us to turn back? OK. We have been sent back.
Both Eritrea and Ethiopia promised these troops would withdraw weeks ago and yet this foreign force is still here and occupying, obstructing a key supply route with impunity.
After calling the interim government, military contacts and others, on our fourth attempt, we make it through. Three days after setting off, we finally arrived in Axum, a UNESCO heritage site, the holiest city of Ethiopia and place of pilgrimage, but even the act of worship here is dangerous one. The war is never far away. At a local health facility, we will see firsthand the consequences of
this almost two-week siege. Two-month-old Johannes' life is hanging in the balance. His mother risked her life and his to get him past the soldiers encircling the city so that he can receive life-saving oxygen.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): When he first got ill, it was a hard time so I couldn't bring him. There was an act of war and he got weaker, but I could not find the transport and I had to travel roads along to get him here.
ELBAGIR: He is not out of danger yet, the hospital electricity flickers on and off and they are still waiting to get more cylinders of oxygen.
In the almost two weeks that Axum has been cut off from the outside world, violence has spiked. We find this 24-year-old teacher.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They found us, they took our money, beat the man and raped the two of us.
ELGABIR: Do you know who did this to you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Eritreans.
ELBAGIR: Eritrean soldiers did this? I'm so sorry.
This is just one case that we are able to capture, because we're here. But it's impossible to know how many more women this was done to while this city was closed off from the outside world.
(voice-over): Another health facility, Aksum Referral Hospital, soldiers walk in and out of the hospital with impunity. One spots the camera and runs off. They run out of blood here. Doctors and medical students are donating their own, but it's still not enough.
People who could have been saved are dying. Every patient you see here -- the old, the young, the helpless -- all injured in this conflict.
Our journey here has brought into focus the hollowness of Ethiopia's promises.
As we leave Aksum, a line of soldiers encircles the hospital. There is no respite.
(on camera): CNN reached out to the Eritrean and Ethiopian governments with multiple requests for comment, but they did not respond.
Nima Elbagir, CNN, London.
VAUSE: A short break, but when we come, more on the violence escalating not just between Israel and north into Gaza. But now between Jews and Arabs in Israeli towns and cities.
VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause.
Right now, none of the Israelis or Palestinians seem ready to step back. Both sides are instead warning of more of the same.
For Hamas, that meant launching another barrage of rockets at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. In the last few hours, air raid sirens and thousands of Israelis running for shelter.
Israel says the rocket fire coming from Gaza has killed seven civilians. Israeli airstrikes continue with devastating impact, blowing a third high-rise in Gaza City in two days.
Palestinian health officials say the strikes have killed at least 67 people and wounded hundreds of others since Monday.
CNN's Hadas Gold reports now on the cycle of violence, where it's the worst in years. She tells us how it started and where it's heading.
HADAS GOLD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a pattern that shouldn't be familiar but already is. Hamas and Islamic Jihad rockets streaking across the sky from Gaza.
Sirens ringing out, warning Israelis to take cover. The Iran Dome intercepting as many incoming projectiles as possible.
The punishing retaliation of an air assault on Gaza targets by Israeli forces, pushing the casualty count higher with each cycle, dimming the hopes for de-escalation of violence and exposing a harsh reality of a long-standing conflict boiling over into rage once again. What started as a flash point over threatened evictions of Palestinian
families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem, and clashes at the Al-Asa mosque, is now a conflict that the U.N. special envoy to the Middle East says is escalating towards an all-out war.
Israel calling up reservists and moving tanks and heavy artillery to the Gaza border, refusing to rule out a ground offensive. Defense Minister Benny Gantz making clear Israel has no intention of backing down.
BENNY GANTZ, ISRAELI DEFENSE MINISTER: In hundreds of strikes, weapons, production sites, tunnels and towers that have been serving terrorist organizations have crumbled. And they will keep crumbling. There are many more targets. This is just the beginning.
GOLD: Hamas confirming some leaders of their armed wing killed in the latest round of airstrikes while vowing that nothing will stop their battle.
A Hamas spokesman calling for Palestinians to march in Jerusalem to the Al-Aqsa mosque on Friday, saying, "Your (UNINTELLIGIBLE) to Al- Aqsa is a pledge of loyalty to the blood of the righteous martyrs in Gaza with honor and an affirmation of continuing the path of liberation."
Anger now spilling beyond Jerusalem into other cities. The city of Lod becoming the latest powder keg. A state of emergency and curfew now in effect after an Arab Israeli man was shot dead, and rioters torched synagogues, cars, and businesses there.
In the meantime, civilians continued to pay the heaviest price as Gaza citizens tried to salvage what is left of bombed-out buildings, all while mourning and burying their dead.
With scores killed and several hundred injured, while in Israel with every siren a warning that another missile might make it through. Several have already claimed lives.
Hadas Gold, CNN, Jerusalem.
VAUSE: Still to come here, in just weeks, India's pandemic overwhelmed hospitals in the big cities. And now the relatively ill-equipped rural healthcare system, already overstretched as COVID-19 spreads around the country.
VAUSE: A wise man never says what if. But what if the world had acted faster and dealt with the coronavirus outbreak sooner? According to an independent panel appointed by the World Health Organization, the global pandemic could have been prevented.
The panel's final report says delays in preparation and response were the biggest factors in allowing the virus to spread so quickly and recommends the WHO have more authority to share critical information with the rest of the world.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HELEN CLARK, CO-CHAIR, INDEPENDENT PANEL FOR PANDEMIC PREPAREDNESS & RESPONSE: Whilst the virus was spreading, information was being hoarded and decisions were delayed whilst waiting on responses to laborious exchanges of official emails.
As information began to arrive at WHO, the organization was not sufficiently empowered to investigated, validate, and then confirm at speed that a dangerous outbreak was occurring.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Here's the important part. The report also warns that we are clearly unfit to handle another pandemic unless we make substantial changes.
Do we hear that? Substantial changes.
India's coronavirus death toll approached 260,000 on Thursday, as it reported more than 4,100 new deaths. The number of deaths has exceeded 3,000 a day now for more than two weeks.
And after scenes of desperation we saw in Indian cities, the virus is now ravaging through rural areas, where medical care is limited, to say the least. The surge there is leaving families grief-stricken as they struggled to find oxygen for their loved ones.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAUSHIK GAUDIYAL, MOTHER IN ICU WITH COVID-19: I told them that the cylinder is empty. My mother shivering in pain. I told him, "Sir, the cylinder has finished."
And he said, "I told him to check."
I want to him three times. He is just sitting there chatting with the female staff and didn't come to check even once.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: CNN's Vedika Sud live with us now from New Delhi. You know, this is the thing. This was happening in the big cities. There were some -- there was, you know, at least there was some kind of advance warning. It was coming, you know, how prepared are they, because it doesn't seem these rule systems have actually got a chance against this virus.
VEDIKA SUD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, John, it has spread to the rural areas. Now that's something the health ministry has also been saying repeatedly. Also, to smaller cities.
Now, 65 percent of India's population Live in these rural areas. The problem there is quite a bit.
Firstly, the awareness factor. A lot of these people still don't know how to battle COVID-19.
Secondly, the public healthcare infrastructure out there isn't up to the mark, as you would see in the top cities across India when you compare the two. I would say you can't even compare the kind of infrastructure that cities have when compare to rural areas.
Also, there is this whole fear factor, because they don't know much about COVID-19. And then, when you go to these villages, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) went to one in Western India recently. And there's just fear that -- you know, fear that's gripped the (UNINTELLIGIBLE). There's confusion. There's bewilderment, because they really don't know to do next.
They don't have enough doctors who are aware of the situation, are qualified enough, or nurses. And to get oxygen supply when even cities have been battling it, you can imagine rural areas.
But yes, the government is saying that they're reaching out to these rural areas, as well at this point in time.
Now, let's just talk about the figures for a moment. The case load that India has is staggering and has been staggering for a while. Fortunately, the new cases fell below the 40,000 mark for the fourth consecutive day. Before this, we had cases over the 400,000 mark for four consecutive days, as well.
So it's too early to say whether the cases are coming down significantly. Well, most of India except for a few districts, perhaps, have complete or partial lockdowns, so that could have brought those figures down. As of now, testing nevertheless is the same. But they're just hoping India reported a highest number of fatalities since the beginning of the pandemic -- John.
VAUSE: Makes you wonder what they've been doing for all these weeks now. Thank you, Vedika Sud, live for us in New Delhi.
Thank you watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. Please stay with us. WORLD SPORT live after a short break. Stay with us.