Rachel Martin, United States, Asia discussed on Morning Edition


In PR and the listeners of KQ weedy this is morning edition from NPR news I'm Rachel Martin and I'm David green we have been reporting a lot about how the corona virus has affected life here in the United States we've also talked about its effects in Asia and Europe but this is a global pandemic the virus is appearing almost everywhere now so we want to spend the next few minutes looking at other parts of the world and for that we're joined by a team of our colleagues and peers DHEA deed is in Islamabad Pakistan ator Peralta is in Nairobi Kenya and Carrie Kahn joins us from Mexico City hello to all of you good morning good morning Terry wanna start with you here in the U. S. I mean we're approaching ten thousand confirmed cases are in Mexico right next door the government says a hundred and eighteen confirmed cases I mean what a huge disparity are those number solid that is the latest numbers from the federal government here last night they did also confirm Mexico's first covered nineteen death but a Mexican health officials insist the country is still in this initial phase of the virus they say all of the confirmed cases are of people who traveled and brought the virus back or in people that have direct contact with that traveler but there is not a lot of testing being done in the country officials say they reach that conclusion to statistical models based on how the virus progressed in other countries and they say community spread of the virus won't hit here until the first week of April so to date they've test about thousand people David and that's in a population of about a hundred twenty five million and certainly that's something that that officials here in United States have been saying that once more testing happens you start seeing that more cases exist we might not have known about deal let me turn to you in Islamabad against Pakistan sounds like it's been reporting a big jump in cases this week what what what are you saying there right so now there's just over three hundred cases and most of those were in the past week but here like Mexico less than two thousand people are being tested so that figure is probably quite wobbly at this point and doctors say a key concern that people still crowding into hospitals for general services and to be tested for the corona virus but because that crowding if I have the virus the almost certainly spreading it and most medics have don't have the proper protective kia some don't even have those general surgery mosques in solar one doctor I spoke to had described this pandemic as a suicide mission for health organs I'm waiting let me turn to you and I Roby how how is this pandemic thing out on the African continent I mean we've just seen an explosion of cases in the past couple of weeks we went from a handful of countries reporting mostly imported cases to now thirty three countries an epidemiologist at the World Health Organization say there's still a chance of containing this thing here but countries have to trace every single case so they don't lose the chain of infection but the big problem is that in places like South Africa Senegal Burkina falso in Democratic Republic of Congo we're starting to see infections in people with no travel or contact history so the question is are those cases pointing to a more widespread and undetected presence of the virus I mean dimension Pakistan facing certain challenges when it comes to people work in the medical profession dealing with this or are they are there certain challenges that you see facing Africa when when confronting this crisis yeah lots I mean the big one is that the health system is just illiquid to handle this most hospitals don't have ventilators most of them cannot resuscitate people John Jacques we MBA who led the Congolese response against the build up he paints a bleak picture he says if this epidemic takes off we're gonna see panic he says the mortality rate here could be up to ten percent I mean that's the government here seem to know that many have shut down our schools and close down churches and mosques and some have cancelled all flights South Africa which is a hot spot here has taken serious measures including closing down bars at night well let's let's talk about how how governments are responding like you just said it R. DA in Pakistan I mean as I can get out of my mind the idea of a suicide mission for people in the medical community dealing with this this is you know third world huge population what what is the government doing to get ready for for this is it gets worse and worse well I mean here it's very provincial and the response has been uneven across the country but what's key is that there's no place in Pakistan that shutting down like you see in France or Italy in that's because social distancing here is nearly impossible most people living in crowded homes in tightly packed slums and that said the government isn't shutting down mosques and that's where dozens to hundreds of people gather for communal Friday Prez and clearances said if the government tries to shut them down the whole fight back Kerry you said that in Mexico community spread is something that the people are are fearing and and modeling showing that this could could really start taking off in terms of this virus spreading what what's the government reactions over there well they say we're not at that phase yet we're still in the initial phase of they've implemented no social distancing for now it's just crazy to watch you know in the U. S. all the sheltering in place but your public schools are still in session there's some exceptions but the public schools the government offices are still open until Friday restaurants are open last weekend there was a huge rock concert here in Mexico City with a hundred thousand people in attendance so they're not calling for the social distancing requirements until March twenty third and then the president continues to hold public events he's come under a great criticism for hugging and kissing supporters but he says this weekend I hate he'll keep up his busy travel schedule but he'll have to insist on smaller crowds because it's so different I mean we have we have presidential candidates here in the U. S. who are you know giving victory speeches by live stream with no people and certainly we don't have rock concerts I mean life feels completely different eight or what is what is life feel like him in Nairobi and and and where you are so I'm guessing a lot like what you're describing not because some parts of Nairobi here they're completely deserted topic a lot of the worry here is economic I mean the idea that the Kenyan government will right citizens a check like the US is planning that's a fantasy and panic shopping here that's just it's not an option for most Kenyans right now tourism has ground to a halt businesses are stalled and many people there out of a job and what they're worried about is how they're going to eat when the food runs out do you have that this life field altered and in Pakistan right now to some degree and and like I said one of the big concerns here is is economic people will go hungry if they can't work but another big concern here is quarantine Pakistan borders Iran which has been at the center of this virus and shot programs have been returning from that will put in a quarantine station on the border that frankly didn't work and so when they were released dozens of them were found to actually have the virus and so we saw yesterday that people rioted and try to smash up a quarantine center in a different city because they were afraid that people put that would actually spread the virus further Kerry let me just finish with you president trump taking steps to limit nonessential traffic on the border with Canada I'm just wondering about the southern border with Mexico are you are you hearing anything for the Mexican side of what this what changes might see there Mexico is just terrified of the border being close in what what it would do to what's already in stamping a Connelly president trump has talked more about what he plans to do with illegal border crossers than the legal traffic at the southern border in a place like San Diego where border agents say they detained about a hundred and thirty migrants a day the legal crosses between San Diego and Tijuana number upwards of a hundred thousand people a day all right we have heard from NPR's Carrie Kahn in Mexico City and here's D. ahead deed in Islamabad and impairs ator Peralta in Nairobi as we cover the corona virus and this global pandemic you're listening to morning edition from.

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