There’s so much oil sloshing around the system and no demand for it because of the lockdowns in the world’s key economies that oil futures have plunged below zero for the first time in history. 
Globally, more than 2.4 million people have been diagnosed with the virus while more than 170,000 have died, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. More than 646,000 people have recovered.
The US accounts for about a quarter of all deaths.
A glimmer of hope in Italy, after the country reported a slight drop in active coronavirus cases.

Here are the latest updates:

Tuesday, April 21
04:00 GMT – ICRC steps up suport 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 of we offended anyone.”

The five characters included Dr Disenfector, 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.

#Philippines #RedCross #COVID19 molecular lab is up and running.

☑️More than 1400 samples received so far
☑️200 samples being tested right now
☑️Ramping up to 1,000 tests a day


— IFRC Asia Pacific (@IFRCAsiaPacific) April 21, 2020 

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

Palu was the city 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.

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’.

In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2020 

02:00 GMT – Hong Kong to extend coronvirus 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 eaerly 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’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 don’t have enough coronavirus test.

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 Gov. J.B. Pritzker “did not understand his capacity.”

The president insisted  “we’re in very good shape on testing.”


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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