Coronavirus update: The latest COVID-19 news for Tuesday 21 April | ABC News

The economic shock waves from this coronavirus pandemic are hitting hard in Australia today with thousands of jobs in the balance at Virgin airlines.

0:05 Virgin Australia has gone into administration after the government rejected pleas for a bail out. The airline is $5b in debt and was hit hard by travel restrictions.

0:47 US oil futures prices have dropped to negative values for the first time, with global energy demand drying up. The main benchmark closed at minus 37 dollars a barrel.

0:58 National Cabinet will discuss a plan to lift the ban on elective surgery. All such surgeries were suspended last month – to keep hospital beds free for covid-19 patients.

1:09 New South Wales is taking steps towards bringing students back to school. The Premier says children will return to school classrooms in three weeks – for one day a week.

1:18 France has joined Italy, Spain and the United States in recording more than 20,000 deaths. Spain has passed the 200,000 cases mark, while in Italy, the number of people currently confirmed to have the virus has fallen for the first time and some countries in Europe are starting to ease some of the restrictions

In more detail:
1:45 Virgin Australia has gone into voluntary administration, as the airline struggles to stay in the air due to the coronavirus pandemic. Senior business correspondent Peter Ryan has more details on the Virgin Australia collapse.
7:18 The Federal Government is standing firm and not handing virgin a lifeline despite the airline going into administration. Political reporter Dan Conifer has more information about the Federal Government’s response to the virgin Australia collapse. 9:25 Also, the Prime Minister is meeting with State and Territory leaders today – they are expected to ease restrictions on elective surgery.
11.24 Lara Hyams reporting from Sydney with more information on the NSW Premier’s plan to return NSW students to the classroom.
15:38 The World Health Organisation has responded to criticism of its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, saying the US gets the same treatment as every other country.

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In This Story: COVID-19

Covid-19 is the official WHO name given to the novel coronavirus which broke out in late 2019 and began to spread in the early months of 2020.

Symptoms of coronavirus

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a persistent new cough (non productive, dry)
  • a high temperature (e.g. head feels warm to the touch)
  • shortness of breath (if this is abnormal for the individual, or increased)

Latest News about Covid-19

Below are stories from around the globe related to the 2020 outbreak of novel Coronavirus – since the WHO gave the Covid-19 naming. Most recent items are posted nearest the top.

5 Recent Items: COVID-19

  • Northern Ireland extends lockdown to 5 March, Arlene Foster announces
  • Joe Biden begins term as US President with wave of executive orders including climate, Covid-19
  • Joe Biden begins term as US President with priority on tackling Covid-19 pandemic
  • Germany’s Merkel demands measures to fight coronavirus variants before EU leaders’ talk
  • BREAKING: Northern Ireland lockdown extended to 5 March
  • In This Story: France

    France is a republic and the largest Western European nation. Through expansion and colonisation in the 17th and 18th centuries France became a great power and still retains territories around the world. It has a seat on the UN security council and is the world’s fourth most wealthy country with a high standard of living and strong cultural identity.

    6 Recent Items: France

  • Joe Biden begins term as US President with wave of executive orders including climate, Covid-19
  • Joe Biden begins term as US President with priority on tackling Covid-19 pandemic
  • Joe Biden kicks off term as US President by rejoining Paris Climate Deal
  • Germany’s Merkel demands measures to fight coronavirus variants before EU leaders’ talk
  • Banned from Youtube for life Conservative Radio host to find new platform for political purposes
  • A silent death: Residents of Brazilian town of Santo Amaro poisoned by lead
  • In This Story: Italy

    Italy is a republic in central Europe which forms a peninsula in the Mediterranean Sea as well as bordering France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia. The islands of Sardinia and Sicily form part of the main territory of Italy. Italy is part of the Eurozone, having entered the common currency on 1st January 1999.

    The capital, Rome, is home to the Vatican as well as landmark art and ancient ruins. Other major cities include Florence, with Renaissance masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s “David” and Brunelleschi’s Duomo; Venice, the city of canals; and Milan, Italy’s fashion capital.

    4 Recent Items: Italy

  • Italian restaurants refuse to close doors despite COVID restrictions
  • Italy Premier Battles On After Surviving Crucial Senate Vote
  • Italy PM Conte Wins Crucial Senate Confidence Vote by Very Thin Margin
  • Italy’s Mount Etna Erupts
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