Prepare for ‘new way of living’ amid coronavirus: Live updates | News


  • There’s so much oil sloshing around the system and no demand for it that oil futures haveplunged below zero for the first time in history.
  • Globally, more than 2.4 million people have been diagnosed with the virus. More than 170,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.
  • The US accounts for about a quarter of all deaths.

Here are the latest updates:

Tuesday, April 21

09:00 GMT – Virgin Australia airline seeks bankruptcy protection 

Virgin Australia, the nation’s second-largest airline, announced it had entered voluntary administration, seeking bankruptcy protection after a debt crisis worsened by the coronavirus shutdown pushed it into insolvency.

Virgin said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange that it had appointed a team of Deloitte administrators to “recapitalize the business and help ensure it emerges in a stronger financial position on the other side of the COVID-19 crisis.”

Virgin is one of the first major airlines to seek bankruptcy protection in response to the pandemic. Virgin’s administrators have taken control of the company and will try to work out a way to save either the company or its business.

The move came after the Australian government refused Virgin’s request for a 1.4 billion Australian dollar ($888 million) loan.

08:45 GMT – Indonesia reports 375 new coronavirus infections, 26 deaths

Indonesia reported 375 new coronavirus infections on Tuesday, taking the total in the Southeast Asian country to 7,135.

Health ministry official Achmad Yurianto reported 26 new coronavirus deaths, taking the total to 616.

Indonesia

More than 46,700 people have been tested and 842 people had recovered [Achmad Ibrahim/AP]

08:30 GMT – WHO: Prepare for a new way of living amid coronavirus

The World Health Organization said rushing to ease coronavirus restrictions will likely lead to a resurgence of the illness, a warning that comes as governments start rolling out plans to get their economies up and running again.

“This is not the time to be lax. Instead, we need to ready ourselves for a new way of living for the foreseeable future,” said Dr. Takeshi Kasai, the WHO regional director for the Western Pacific.

He said governments must remain vigilant to stop the spread of the virus and the lifting of lockdowns and other social distancing measures must be done gradually and strike the right balance between keeping people healthy and allowing economies to function.

08:15 GMT – Denmark says public gatherings will not exceed 500 people until September

Denmark will not allow public gatherings to exceed 500 persons until at least Sept. 1, the Danish health ministry said in a statement.

The statement contradicted earlier media reports, which said the government would allow larger public gatherings from May 10. A current upper limit on public gatherings of 10 people is in effect until May 10.

08:10 GMT – Philippines reports nine new coronavirus deaths, 140 more infections

The Philippines’ health ministry recorded nine new coronavirus deaths and 140 additional confirmed cases.

In a bulletin, the health ministry said total coronavirus deaths have reached 437 while infections have risen to 6,599.

But 41 more patients have recovered, bringing total recoveries to 654, it added.

Northern Philippines Under Lockdown To Contain Spread Of The Coronavirus

Phillipines has taken strict lockdown measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus [Ez/Getty Images]

04:00 GMT – ICRC steps up support in congested Asian prisons

The International Committee of the Red Cross, which works in prisons worldwide, is stepping up efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus in overcrowded prisons in the Philippines, Cambodia and Bangladesh.

As well as a 48-bed isolation centre for Manila’s prisons, it has donated 20 tonnes of healthcare, hygiene and sanitation items to Cambodia’s Directorate General of Prisons and organised hygiene-training sessions for prison staff in Bangladesh where it has also distributed disinfection materials.

03:35 GMT – Not so super: Singapore pulls virus superheroes after backlash

Singapore has pulled the Virus Vanguard, a group of five characters it developed as part of a public information campaign on its lockdown, dubbed the circuit breaker.

“We have received quite a lot of feedback on the characters and we will be reviewing them,” the government said on its official Facebook page. “We are sorry if we offended anyone.”

The five characters included Dr Disinfector, Care-leh Dee (pronounced Care Lady) and Fake News Buster.

Critics said the approach was too frivolous given the scale of the epidemic in the city-state, now the largest in Southeast Asia.

03:20 GMT – Philippines stepping up testing for coronavirus

The Philippines is stepping up testing for the coronavirus with the assistance of the Red Cross whose laboratory aims to test 1,000 samples a day.

02:50 GMT – Panic in Palu as Indonesia coronavirus cases surge

Palu was the city in Indonesia’s Sulawesi island that was shaken by an earthquake and swamped by a tsunami before parts were swallowed up the earth in a phenomenon known as liquefaction.

That was in September 2018 and thousands of people are still living in cramped temporary shelters – tents even – reliant on aid for regular food and water. Now they have to worry about the coronavirus.

“As soon as the government said there were cases in Palu, I began panicking,” said Tari Yalijama, a 32-year-old mother-of-three who lives in a temporary shelter. Ian Morse has moreon the situation in the Indonesian city.

Indonesia Palu

Some residents of Palu continue to live in tents more than 18 months after the triple disaster of September 2018. NGOs delivered some basic supplies this month {Supplied/Al Jazeera]

02:30 GMT – Trump tweets US immigration to be temporarily suspended

US President Donald Trump says he plans to sign an executive order to temporarily suspend immigration “in light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy’.

Read more here.

02:00 GMT – Hong Kong to extend coronavirus restrictions

Hong Kong’s chief executive Carrie Lam says the territory will extend its coronavirus restrictions by 14 days.

On Monday, Hong Kong reported no new cases of the virus for the first time since early March.

Under restrictions that came into force on March 29, public gatherings of more than four people are banned, gyms, cinemas, bars and other entertainment centres are closed and foreign travellers have been barred from entering the territory.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s entertainment districts have fallen quiet after bars and entertainment venues were told to close at the end of March [Jerome Favre/EPA]

00:45 GMT – China reports 11 new confirmed coronavirus cases

China’s latest coronavirus update shows just 11 new confirmed cases on the mainland on April 20, with no new deaths.

The National Health Commission says four of the new cases were imported.

There were seven cases of local infection, including six in the northeastern border province of Heilongjiang and one in the southern province of Guangdong.

China also reported 37 new asymptomatic coronavirus cases on the mainland on April 20, compared with 49 a day earlier.

00:30 GMT – UN member states demand ‘equitable’ access for COVID-19 vaccines

The 193 members of the UN General Assembly on Monday adopted by consensus a resolution calling for “equitable, efficient and timely” access to any future vaccines developed to fight the coronavirus.

The resolution also highlighted the “crucial leading role” played by the World Health Organization (WHO). which has faced criticism from the United States and others over its handling of the pandemic.

The resolution was drafted by Mexico and got US support. It calls for strengthening the “scientific international cooperation necessary to combat COVID-19 and to bolster coordination,” including with the private sector.

00:00 GMT – Trump criticises governors over coronavirus testing

US President Donald Trump has criticised governors who have said they cannot ease lockdowns because they do not have enough coronavirus tests.

Maryland’s Republican Governor Larry Hogan said on Monday he had secured 500,000 tests from South Korea after more than 20 days of negotiations, and said states had been forced to fend for themselves and compete against each other for tests.

At his daily briefing on Monday, Trump claimed that Hogan did not understand “too much about what was going on” while Illinois’ Democratic Governor JB Pritzker “did not understand his capacity.”

The president said: “We’re in very good shape on testing.”

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Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur.

Read all the updates from yesterday (April 20) here.





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