Trump declares National Day of Prayer for 'protection & strength' amid Coronavirus crisis

Donald Trump has announced that Sunday 15 March will be a National Day of Prayer in the United States amid the coronavirus health crisis.

The U.S. president made the announcement via his Twitter account on Saturday, highlighting that throughout its history, the United States has been a country that has "looked to God for protection and strength in times like these."

Trump's tweet said, "It is my great honor to declare Sunday, March 15thas a National Day of Prayer. We are a Country that, throughout our history, has looked to God for protection and strength in times like these..."

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

Combined the tweets have been Liked more than 450,000 times, with around 120,000 re-tweets, as of 3.45p.m. ET Saturday afternoon.

One of those who responded and re-tweeted Trump's tweets was Franklin Graham, the son of world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham.

Graham wrote, "President @realDonaldTrump has called for a National Day of Prayer this Sunday, 3/15. I hope every church of every denomination & every person, regardless of political affiliation, will pray as we face this crisis together as a nation."

As of Saturday 14th March afternoon, the recorded cases of Coronavirus worldwide had increased to 155,858, and the number of deaths caused by the outbreak stood at 5,814.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that the epicenter of the outbreak has now seemingly moved to Europe, with numerous western European countries experiencing strong spikes in cases and deaths.

Donald Trump has announced a ban on travel into the United States from much of mainland Europe earlier in the week, and the United Kingdom will be added to the ban from Monday following a large increase in recorded cases on Saturday.