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AP Photo/Evan Vucci
donald trump march 14 2020.jpg
AP Photo/Evan Vucci
World News

'Turn towards prayer in an act of faith': Trump declares National Day of Prayer for coronavirus

by Tola Mbakwe

Donald Trump has declared 15th March a National day of Prayer for the coronavirus outbreak. 

He made the announcement on Twitter on Friday saying the US "has looked to God for protection and strength in times like these".

The US president's announcement came the same day he said the UK could be added to the list of European countries included in the US travel ban.

He described cases of coronavirus as having risen "fairly precipitously" since he initially announced the ban with the UK exemption.

Meanwhile, Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali has called for Christians to fast and pray about the outbreak. 

The former bishop of Rochester told Premier Christians must remember to have hope during this time. 

"I think there's a spirit of fear and even panic," he said. 

"I just wanted Christians to be alert to the fact that we are people of hope and redemption and of healing and that we shouldn't give in to the general sort of anxiety that is around so much these days."

Bishop Michael and 14 other Christian leaders who co-signed his letter calling for the time of prayer and fasting gave the following for prayer points:

  • Pray for repentance for our abuse of God's good creation and of ourselves which often leads to epidemic disease and other calamities
  • Pray for protection for our families, communities and nations and especially for the poor, the weak and the elderly
  • Pray for healing for those ill with the virus
  • Pray for the dying and bereaved

Plans are under way to ban mass gatherings from next week as the Government looks to implement more extreme measures in the fight against Covid-19.

Boris Johnson had faced criticism for not taking such actions, despite similar steps being taken by other European countries as the pandemic worsens.

Emergency legislation bringing in beefed-up powers will be published next week and there could also be a move towards more people working from home, a Whitehall source said.

The announcement comes as the UK deals with a rising number of cases of the illness, increasing to 798, and a death toll of 11.

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