This is your May 18, 2020, Daily Pandemic Update. Follow the daily updates here

  • Global confirmed coronavirus cases – ­­­4,819,086
  • Global coronavirus deaths – 316,957

New Cases Growing in the US

On May 11, one week ago, the US reported its lowest number of newly confirmed cases in a 24 hour period since March 26. This report timed with a growing number of reopenings and removal of lockdown orders across the country. Every day since May 11, showed an increase in newly reported cases in the US.

On Saturday, Texas reported its highest one day total of newly confirmed cases since the pandemic began. In Florida, the number of newly confirmed cases in the last 24 hours doubled from the amount reported on May 11. On Thursday, Louisiana saw its highest daily report of new cases since April 11.

The evidence continues to suggest that as American states and businesses reopen, social distancing is reducing, and infections are growing. It is increasingly likely that we are experiencing the beginnings of a second wave in the United States.

America’s Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar

Meanwhile, America’s Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar explained it is safe for America to reopen. Azar explained half of all counties reporting had not experienced a single death. Further, 60% of all confirmed coronavirus cases in the US are located within only 2% of the reporting counties. These figures explain the government’s rationale in reopening the country and also the heightened divide within the culture when it comes to perceptions of the pandemic.

China to Address the World Health Organization

China’s President Xi Jin Ping will address an assembly of the World Health Organization later today. Meanwhile, China implemented new lockdown measures in Jilin, a city in the northeastern part of the country. The government quarantined more than 8,000 people in renewed efforts to stop a potential second wave.

Brazil and Russia Surge

top 10 nations coronavirus May 18, 2020, Daily Pandemic Update
Top 10 Nations Coronavirus – Confirmed Reports, Deaths and Newly Confirmed Cases in the last 24 hours – May 18, 2020, Daily Pandemic Update

The look of the top 5 nations with confirmed cases of the coronavirus is beginning to change rapidly. Brazil surpassed France and Italy to move into the top. Russia is experiencing nearly 10,000 new confirmed cases a day. Brazil is slightly behind Russia at 7,900 new cases per day. Only the United States continues to have more newly confirmed cases daily than Russia and Brazil.

coronavirus in belgium

Smaller nations of Europe are meanwhile showing up in unique ways on the daily tracker. Belgium is experiencing the highest mortality rate among countries with confirmed cases. A 16.4% mortality rate from the coronavirus in Belgium means the nation is experiencing 78 deaths per 100,000 people. The US, for comparison, has reported 26 deaths per 100,000 people to date. Spain is at 58 and Italy 52.

Belarus is experiencing nearly 1,000 newly confirmed cases a day, but the country president has defied global trends for lockdown. Soccer leagues continue in Belarus, restaurants, and shops remain open. The President referred to the pandemic is a “corona-psychosis.”

Hot Spots in Africa

coronavirus in africa

There are a growing number of outbreaks in Africa. While lesser developed healthcare systems and bureaucracies lack the reporting mechanisms demonstrated in other parts of the world, there are other methods of tracking the pandemic’s effect within Africa.

Burials have tripled in Mogadishu, Somalia. Tanzania stopped issuing confirmed case counts two weeks ago after the nation experienced a surge in new cases. Kano, Nigeria, the nation’s second-largest city, dozens of doctors now have the coronavirus. Gravediggers in Kano are reportedly overwhelmed. The official coronavirus case count in Kano, Nigeria, is only 753, but health workers and residents within the city deny the credibility of that report and say they are experiencing an outbreak.

We previously tracked the timeline and spread of the pandemic for the US here and the globe here. The previous trackers will be archived and remain posted for research and record purposes. If you enjoyed this May 18, 2020, Daily Pandemic Update, please consider subscribing to the blog.

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JB Shreve is the author of "How the World Ends: Understanding the Growing Chaos." He has been the host of the End of History podcast since 2012 where he helps believers understand how the world works and how our faith fits. He has degrees in International Relations and Middle East Studies. His other books include the Intelligence Brief Series. Regular posts and updates from JB Shreve are available at