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Tanzanian President Declares 3 Days of National Prayer to Help Defeat Coronavirus

FILE - A banner of Tanzanian President John Magufuli adorns a wall in Merelani, Tanzania, April 11, 2018.

Tanzania began observing three-days of national prayers Friday as COVID-19 infections increased.

President John Magufuli made the declaration for nationwide prayer Thursday, urging Tanzanians to pray for God's protection and healing as six more people tested positive for the virus, raising the number of infections to 94.

So far, four people have died from the coronavirus in Tanzania, where social gatherings have been suspended and schools closed, but places of worship remain open and people still move about without restrictions.

The appeal for prayers comes as Tanzania canceled this year's April 26 national holiday commemorating the 1964 merger of Tanganyika and Zanzibar to become Tanzania because of the virus outbreak.

Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said Magufuli is redirecting the $217,000 set aside for the holiday celebrations to go toward fighting the coronavirus in the country.