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Uganda declares public holiday for COVID-19 prayers

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UGANDAN President Yoweri Museveni has declared Saturday a national day for prayer following spike in recent days of coronavirus cases.

  The country recorded its highest single-day infections of 308 last Saturday.

On Thursday, the Ministry of Health reported 155 people had tested positive, minutes before Mr Museveni announced a public holiday calling on Ugandans to pray “for God to deliver” the country from the pandemic.

  On his official Twitter handle, Mr Museveni said he arrived at the decision after an unnamed individual approached him with a vision from God with instructions that he organises national prayers.

  “A certain Ugandan came to me and told me that God had told him in a vision that I should organise national prayers, scientifically organised, for God to deliver us from Covid-19,” Mr Museveni said.

  “Therefore, by the powers given to the President of Uganda by Section 2(2) of the Public Holidays Act, I declare the 29th of August 2020, a day of National Prayers and a Public Holiday. Stay in your houses or compounds and pray,” he added.

 Meanwhile ten children have been killed in a lightning strike while sheltering from a storm during a football game in northern Uganda, police said on Friday.

The boys, aged 11 to 16, had been sheltering from a storm in a makeshift structure in Arua city, northwest of the capital Kampala on Thursday, police spokeswoman Josephine Angucia told dpa.

“These are young boys who had been playing football when rain began to fall and lightning struck them,” Angucia said.

  The children were sheltering from the rain in a grass-thatched house when the lightning struck Thursday evening.

  Police said “they had been playing soccer in a nearby field.” Four other children were injured.

  “Relatives have been picking up the bodies from the mortuary since yesterday and the burials are taking place from today,” she added.

  Angucia said “Deadly lightning is commonly reported in the East African country during the wet seasons, urging children to avoid playing in the rain.”

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