Coronavirus: Trump waxes spiritual, declares national day of prayer in U.S

  • Adds U.K, Rep. of Ireland to travel ban list

The United States government has declared Sunday (Today) as a national day of prayer in spiritual response to the coronavirus outbreak.

President Donald Trump made the announcement on Twitter on Saturday, urging Americans to turn to God for the country to prevail.

“It is my great honor to declare Sunday, March 15th as a National Day of Prayer,” Trump said.

“We are a country that, throughout our history, has looked to God for protection and strength in times like these.

“No matter where you may be, I encourage you to turn towards prayer in an act of faith. Together, we will easily PREVAIL!” Trump tweeted.

Trump’s declaration came a day after he declared a national emergency in the country to free up federal resources to combat the coronavirus.

There are more than 1,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the US so far in 49 states.

The U.S Center for Disease Control and Prevention said between 160 million and 214 million people in the United States could be infected over the course of the epidemic, according to a report project published in the New York Times.

On Saturday, Trump said he had taken the coronavirus test and was expecting a result in a day or two.

Meanwhile, the country has added the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland to its travel ban on Europe as part of measures to prevent new cases of the coronavirus pandemic.

Vice President Mike Pence, who announced the new decision at a news conference on Saturday, said it would take effect on Monday at midnight (5 a.m Nigerian time).

As at the time of filing this report, the confirmed cases and deaths from the disease in the U.S. had risen to 2,488 and 51 respectively.

Trump had exempted the UK when he first announced the restrictions of all travels from Europe on Wednesday. That policy came into effect on Saturday.

The total number of confirmed cases in the UK has reached 1,140, with 21 deaths – up from 11 on Friday, according to the BBC.

Pence explained that American citizens and legal residents would still be allowed into the U.S from Europe, but would be “funneled through specific airports and processed.”

Coronavirus, officially named COVID-19, broke out in Wuhan, Hubei province of Central China in December last year. The virus has infected over 100,000 people in more than 100 countries, causing no less than 5000 deaths worldwide.

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