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.
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.