Thursday, March 23, 2023


Pastor Tests Positive for COVID-19 After In-Person Church Service

A church in Abaco is closed temporarily for in-person services after its pastor was afflicted with COVID-19.

Pastor Silbert Mills said although the government has allowed churches to reopen, Friendship Baptist Church will remain closed for the entire month of October—and longer if necessary.

Pastor Silbert Mills has suspened services at his church following after contracting COVID-19   Photo Credit: FB

Mills said he believes it started when the church held a service on September 1st celebrating the anniversary of Hurricane Dorian. Soon after, a deacon in the church became sick and later tested positive for COVID-19. After praying for the member, he too was stricken with the virus, experiencing coughs, weakness, fever and loss of appetite.

“There were nights I felt like I was not going to see the next day. Do not take this COVID-19 thing lightly.

“I was sweating night time from my head to my toe. I had to change clothes throughout the night at least three times.”

Pastor Mills said he isolated himself for three weeks.

“I felt a couple of nights as though I was going to die.”

The government lockdown measures have drawn criticism from some members of the public. And just Wednesday, Prime Minister Hubert Minnis announced a 24-hour weekend lockdown for New Providence and Abaco as numbers escalate in these specific islands.

Health statistics show that one in every one hundred New Providence resident is infected with the virus, with one death per day.

Officials said this has placed a strain on health care facilities as it risks collapse due to the increase in numbers.

Pastor Mills sent a message to critics of the government. “Those who are demonstrating against the government of the Bahamas, and the prime minister, you haven’t had it yet.”

He continued, “More people will die from this thing that you would imagine, in the Bahamas because we’re not taking this thing serious, we do not understand what it will do to you.”

As New Providence and Abaco implement the lockdown measures, churches on these islands are permitted to meet for one hour between the hours of 7am and 1pm on Saturday and Sunday.

The 24hour lockdown begins Friday 9th at 7pm and lifts Tuesday 13th at 5am.

3 Tips for a Healthy Marriage During the Coronavirus Lockdown

The coronavirus pandemic has caused couples to spend more time together than ever before. While quality time is beneficial, it may present challenges since too much time together may become overwhelming due to lack of space and little individual time for oneself.

In fact, attorneys have expressed that marriages in the Bahamas are dissolving during this time, as they have received numerous calls to assist in divorce cases.

QC Wayne Munroe said spending too much time together is the quickest way to get a divorce, as little things become annoying. Munroe said he expects more divorces as lockdown continues.

While Munroe may have a bleak outlook on marriages, Therapist and Relationship Consultant Harrison Thompson says your marriage can survive the lockdown.

Harrison Thompson Official

Here’s how:

1. Carve out Individual time

We all need to ensure that while spending more time together, we don’t run into ‘proximity fatigue’ where we’re tired of seeing our partner when we usually don’t. Don’t get offended by space either but use it to refresh so that you can come back together, reinvigorated.

2. Allow your partner to have feelings

Sometimes we don’t let our partner feel and go through their emotions without judging them for it. Feelings are meant to be felt and when we don’t do that, problems get worse and so do our responses to them.

3. Be silly

Only be an adult when absolutely necessary. Sometimes we take in too much information that overwhelms us and makes us anxious. Being silly with one another is a great way to break tensions and return to a lighter mood.

Police on Outreach Mission in COVID-19 Pandemic

Commissioner Paul Rolle and members of the Royal Bahamas Police Force performed community outreach on Thursday, providing masks and bottled water to the residents of Windsor Lane and the surrounding areas.

Accompanied by the media, Rolle and his team walked through the community, encouraging residents to wear masks and stay safe during the pandemic.

Residents were receptive and expressed thanks to Rolle for the gesture.

This comes after residents expressed frustration over the recent 7-day lockdown that took many by surprise.

After the order was implemented by Prime Minister Hubert Minnis on Tuesday, that area highlighted frustrated Bahamians who voiced their displeasure with the lockdown , with many saying they were not prepared with groceries and food items.

A rowdy crowd hurled bottles at police vehicles, when police patrolled the area during the upheaval.

When the media asked Rolle to respond to Tuesday’s incident, Rolle said today, “We are a nation that follows laws. I encourage everyone to abide by the laws. This pandemic is not just for the police. It is for everybody.

“Our message today is wear your mask, practice social distancing. We have to do our part to ensure everyone is safe.

“I have a duty to deal with civil unrest, wherever and whenever. We have a duty of care to make sure the people are safe,” Rolle said.

Dr. Minnis Announces a ‘Complete Lockdown.’ Here’s What It Means?

The Bahamas has had it shares of lockdowns since the rise in coronavirus cases. But this one is different.

Before, Bahamians had access to essential services like grocery stores and pharmacies, while non-essential services remained closed. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays were allotted for shopping only.

Now, a 7-day complete lockdown is in effect for Grand Bahama and New Providence where COVID-19 cases have taken a toll.

What is a complete lockdown?

A  ‘complete lockdown’ or ‘full lockdown,’ as it is sometimes referred, is the requirement by people to remain at home due to risk of the coronavirus to themselves and others, if they move freely.

All grocery stores, water depots, gas stations and private pharmacies are closed. Only public healthcare,  hospitals and private medical facilities are opened for emergencies.  Businesses and commercial activities will be closed.Construction will be permitted.  International shipping, freight forwarders and domestic freight will be permitted to continue, but goods and supplies must be stored.

Anyone required to be on the streets must contact 311 for permission. Violators will be fined.

Why a complete lockdown?

Health indicators on New Providence show a high number of new cases,  increased hospitalizations and increase in deaths.

Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said if further restrictive measures are not taken to control and to slow the spread of COVID-19 on New Providence at this time, it will take a long time to bring the virus under control.

Dr. Minnis said, “The sooner we bring the virus under control the shorter the time will be to return to few restrictive measures. Unfortunately, too many people are not taking the current lockdowns and health measures seriously.

“Some people are gathering in groups in their neighborhoods. Some are going out when unnecessary. Some are notfollowing health guidelines when out in public. Some are going out visiting friends and family.”

Dr. Minnis added that some people are engaging in socials and parties, and said the virus is spreading rapidly because of the failure of many people to adhere to life-saving and preventative measures.

What would people do who depend on the food distribution program?

Recipients of the National Food Distribution Task Force will continue to obtain food from the specified distribution program on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, as previously scheduled.

Only one person, per family is required for pickup of food packages.

The Royal Bahamas Police Force will have lists by zones of all the recipients of the programme who have registered, and will check vehicles to ensure that only one representative per household goes to the specific distribution centre.

Would a complete lockdown guarantee lowered virus cases?

A complete lockdown will allow health officials to evaluate and monitor the spread of COVID-19 on New Providence, and will assist with slowing the spread of the virus.

At the end of the lockdown period, which is August 25th, officials will assess the data to help inform the way forward, and will report on the impact of the lockdown.

When Lockdown Fatigue Sets In

Thousands of Bahamians tuned in to Prime Minister Hubert Minnis’ national address on Monday evening, anticipating a complete lockdown of the country.

And he delivered.

In his national address, Dr. Minnis announced that New Providence would completely shutdown for 7 days, including grocery stores, water depots and private pharmacies.

A complete shutdown is a first for the country as it battles exponential increases in COVID-19 cases. As of Monday, the Ministry of Health confirms 14 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19. This brings the total number of confirmed cases to 1329.

  • 1116  cases are active
  • 191 are recovered cases
  • 19 COVID-19 deaths

When Dr. Minnis first announced that he would address the nation on Monday at 8pm, hundreds of Bahamians headed to grocery stores, where lines meandered shopping plazas, anticipating that Dr. Minnis would announce a complete lockdown. Although not a 2-week lockdown as rumoured, the 7-day lockdown was met with displeasure.

PM’s announcement met with opposition from the public

Social media users took to social media to express their displeasure with the decision to implement a 7-day full lockdown of Grand Bahama and New Providence.

Many posters voiced their opposition on the Facebook page of the Office of the Prime Minister.

Adam Russell called the actions of the Dr. Minnis, “inhumane, heartless and compassionless.” He asked how citizens are to get access to food and medicine. “How are people suppose to feed their babies? How are people able to get medicine?…This ill thought decision will have far greater impact than the COVID-19 virus,” he said.

A user identified as Quietstorm Miller, said Dr. Minnis has shown Bahamians little respect. “Respect is due where respect is given and right now no respect or compassion is been shown to the people in this country with all this foolishness. We need an early election.”

Julie D’Arville said, “For the first time in my life. I feel unsafe to be living in Nassau. No grocery stores. Things will not end well. Praying for the poor. 311 will be busy for the entire 7 days.”

Denise Knowles pleaded with Dr. Minnis to open the grocery stores and asked for Minnis to delay the lockdown to Saturday.

“Mr. PM, there are families out there that don’t have any food and national food centers take a while for the information to process. Sir, I plead open the food stores and water depot so people could at least get food, water and start the lockdown on Saturday. Have mercy on the people and show some love,” Knowles said.

A call to march

Users of social media have used the platform to establish a march in defiance of the newly implemented 7-day full lockdown.

Activists on Facebook have scheduled a march for Bay Street, Nassau, after meeting at Windsor Park at 10am on Tuesday.

The poster of the flyer encouraged marchers to leave home in groups to prevent arrest and practice social distancing upon arrival at the park. He encouraged, “Less talking. Time to stand for something. And remember that protesting is not illegal, its a right.”

Image may contain: one or more people, text that says 'AUGUST 18TH 2020 MARCH ON BAY STREET กูทbดน 10:00 PEOPLE OF THE BAHAMAS MEET AT WINDSOR PARK EAST STREET'

Davis Says PLP Was Not Consulted on Two-Week Lockdown

Opposition Leader Philip Davis denied that Prime Minister Hubert Minnis sought advice from the opposition in his decision to implement a two week lockdown for the country.

Davis said although his party met with the government, its views were not considered.

“Yesterday afternoon (Monday), the members of the PLP Task Force attended a short health briefing at the Cabinet Office, with a limited opportunity to ask a few questions about the current state of infections.

“My colleagues were then asked to leave so that the Prime Minister and the Cabinet could decide how to proceed. Our views were not invited.”

On last evening, Dr. Minnis said in his decision to implement the lockdown, he invited members of the opposition to attend the Ministry of Health’s briefing at the Cabinet Office.

However, Davis said at the national address, Dr. Minnis implied that he made a joint decision with the PLP.

“The Prime Minister’s implication in his statement last night that he made a joint decision with the Opposition is not true. We were simply given information a few hours ahead of the general public. That is not consultation and it is not collaboration.”

The prime minister’s decision to lockdown for two weeks comes after the COVID-19 cases spiral upward, placing a strain on bed capacity and health workers at health facilities.

After announcing the lockdown, Dr. Minnis said, “We go into lockdown together, not as political partisans or a people divided.

“We enter this lockdown together as one people, as a Bahamian community united in love and a shared desire to fight this deadly virus together until the battle is over. I know that a lockdown like this is the last thing we wanted as a country.

“I know the nation is hurting; that our economy is in a terrible state; that many businesspeople are struggling; that many workers are now unemployed; that families are scared; that many of us are afraid of catching the virus.”

Dr. Minnis indicated that the lockdown may be extended as it “will be for a minimum of two weeks, and nearing the end of the period, health officials will assess the health data, and advise whether a further lockdown period is necessary.”

Bahamians Cry Foul: Destination Wedding in Harbour Island During National Lock Down

A destination wedding held over the weekend in Harbour Island Eleuthera, during the national lock down, received heavy criticism from Bahamians who questioned government’s treatment of foreigners over Bahamian nationals.

A video of the wedding circulated social media on Sunday, showing a foreign bride and groom celebrating their union with guests in attendance of more than five, which goes against  stipulations of weddings in the new order announced on Friday by Prime Minister Hubert Minnis.

Dr. Minnis announced an immediate lock down on Friday night at 10 pm, stating among other measures that, “weddings that were planned for this weekend will also be permitted with a maximum number of five people including the officiant.”

After the video circulated social media showing a large gathering of people celebrating the destination wedding, Bahamians took to social media questioning the allowance of a wedding for foreigners who were not adhering to the COVID-19 protocols, as guests were seen without masks and dancing in close proximity to each other.

Many Bahamian couples postponed their weddings this weekend because of the limitation in the maximum number of people able to attend weddings.

Some posters on Shenique Miller-The Conversation Facebook page, pointed out that laws in the Bahamas are applied differently to nationals and foreigners.

Je Miller said it was “a shame,” saying that her friend had to rush his wedding on Friday because of  the new lock down.

Lakeisha Strachan said, it was not a “surprise” as “we all know the power of the mighty dollar in this country.”

While Valentino Kemp said, “Tourists can break all the rules and not feel and pressure. Meanwhile Bahamians [are] getting locked up for not wearing mask in their car…”

Denette Miller expressed understanding for the foreign couple and the prime minister, saying that Dr. Minnis closed the country abruptly and “it was unfair to all persons who had plans on Saturday.” She added that citizens should not expect the prime minister and law enforcement officers to “babysit everyone.”

Marvin Rahming said as the country locks down to prevent spread of the virus, the economy needs a boost. He said, “The economy is already dead. The only thing we have here is tourism…the show has to go on.”

The outrage comes after charges against three American tourists were dismissed in the Magistrates Court two weeks ago, after telling the court that they jumped a fence to gain access to closed Cabbage beach, after a police in “brown uniform” gave them permission.

Beaches were closed during the Independence holiday to prevent gatherings. And since Friday’s announcement, beaches remain closed.