Zimbabwe leader calls for prayer to tackle coronavirus

AA, ANKARA: Zimbabwe’s president on Thursday declared June 15 as Presidential Day of Prayer and Fasting to seek divine intervention in tackling the coronavirus outbreak, state-run media reported. Emmerson Mnangagwa urged Zimbabweans to come together, pray, fast and continue to observe precautions necessary to prevent the virus spread.

“I urge you all on this day, to join us giving up one, two or all meals and fasting,” the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) quoted him as saying. “It will be best to arrange to participate in this service as families, small groups of church services not exceeding 50 people, and observing the precautions we have been taking to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.”

The head of state urged the nation to join him for a virtual church service from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. local time (0800 – 1000 GMT), which will be broadcast live on ZBC and other social media platforms.

The Southern African country has so far registered 320 COVID-19 cases, including four deaths and 49 recoveries.

Mnangagwa extended a nationwide lockdown meant to control the spread of the virus on May 17 indefinitely.

People are advised to stay at home, and only go outside for food and health reasons. Maintaining physical distance of at least a meter from one another, and washing hands thoroughly with soap and running water has also been strongly advised.

Authorities have held thousands of people for allegedly flouting the restrictions in place since March 31.

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