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Coronavirus: Donald Trump declares Sunday a National Day of Prayer for all affected by virus

News Agencies | Updated on: 15 March 2020, 9:49 IST
Donald Trump declares Sunday a National Day of Prayer

US President Donald Trump has declared Sunday a National Day of Prayer for all affected by the coronavirus and pointed how the Americans, in times of need, have always turned to prayer to seek guidance through trials and periods of uncertainty.

"As we continue to face the unique challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, millions of Americans are unable to gather in their churches, temples, synagogues, mosques, and other houses of worship," the President said hours after he declared a national emergency in the United States due to the health crisis provoked by the killer bug that killed at least 58 people and infected 2,816 others.

"But in this time we must not cease asking God for added wisdom, comfort, and strength, and we must especially pray for those who have suffered harm or who have lost loved ones. I ask you to join me in a day of prayer for all people who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic and to pray for God's healing hand to be placed on the people of our Nation," he added.

Urging his countrymen to pray for the health and well-being of the fellow Americans who have been suffering due to the viral infection, Trump said, "remember that no problem is too big for God to handle."

"With God's help, we will overcome this threat," he stressed.

The first Sunday of every March since 1988 has been designated a National Day of Prayer in the United States.

"It is my great honor to declare Sunday, March 15th as a National Day of Prayer," Trump wrote. We are a country that, throughout our history, have looked to God for protection and strength in times like these," he said.

"No matter where you may be, I encourage you to turn towards prayer in an act of faith. Together, we will easily PREVAIL!" Trump wrote in a follow-up tweet.

Elsewhere in the US, Americans were grappling with life under the coronavirus and everything that came with it: school closures, travel restrictions, empty grocery store shelves, cancelled worship services and a near-halt of recreational and entertainment events.

A ban restricting travel from a large swath of Europe to the US went into effect Friday night, and will be extended to include the UK and Ireland, officials said at a White House briefing Saturday.

The new restrictions are set to go into effect at midnight on Monday, Vice President Mike Pence was quoted as saying by CNN.

Trump, himself, took a coronavirus test on Friday night, he told reporters Saturday, after facing questions about whether he had been tested at a news conference the day before. The White House later said the test was negative.

The President also released $50 billion aid in federal resources to combat the outbreak.


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First published: 15 March 2020, 9:49 IST