May 18 coronavirus news

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8:44 p.m. ET, May 17, 2020

South Africa reports largest single-day spike in cases

From CNN's Philip Wang

South Africa saw its highest single-day jump of reported coronavirus cases on Sunday with an increase of 1,160 infections, according to the country's National Department of Health.

That brings the total number of cases to 15,515, with the Western Cape province accounting for nearly 60% of the national figures.

CNN is tracking worldwide coronavirus cases here:

8:41 p.m. ET, May 17, 2020

Italy must "remain prudent" as country prepares to ease lockdown, health minister says

From Valentina Di Donato 

Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza says the country's economy and society need to reopen after 10 weeks of confinement.
Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza says the country's economy and society need to reopen after 10 weeks of confinement. Filippo Attili/Handout/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Italy’s Health Minister Roberto Speranza has called on citizens to “remain prudent” as the country prepares to relax its coronavirus lockdown on Monday, warning that the “hard part” will begin tomorrow.

“Tomorrow there will be many more people out and so there will be a higher possibility of crossing paths with someone ... tomorrow, the behaviors we have learned will be more necessary than before because there will be greater occasion for contagion,” Speranza said on Sunday. “The virus is still not defeated. It’s not present like it was weeks ago, but it’s still here, so we must remain prudent.”

Speaking during a televised interview on the eve of Italy’s reopening, Speranza acknowledged that while he had been reluctant to reopen the country too quickly, Italy’s economy and society “need to relaunch again” after 10 weeks of confinement.

Additionally, Speranza announced that the Italian government will increase its intensive care capacity by 115%, investing more than 3 billion euros ($3.2 billion) in creating more than 11,000 ICU beds.