No fewer than 15 intending Christian pilgrims have tested positive for COVID-19 in Delta State.
The state Commissioner for Information, Charles Aniagwu, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday in Asaba.
He said 77 other intending Christian pilgrims from the state missed their flight due to the delay in the release of the test results by the pilgrims authority,
According to Mr Aniagwu, a total of 315 pilgrims from Delta were to be airlifted to Jordan from the Port Harcourt International Airport to perform their pilgrimage.
“Of the number, 223 eventually traveled as 15 of them reportedly tested positive for the virus and 77 could not travel due to the late release of their test results.”
The commissioner criticised the decision of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC) to centralise COVID-19 tests for intending pilgrims in the state, saying the arrangement was causing too much pain to the travelers.
According to him, the centralised COVID-19 test, ordered by the NCPC, had caused untold hardship to intending pilgrims in the state.
He said it was disappointing for the intending pilgrims because Delta State had accredited centres to carry out the COVID-19 test in the state.
He, however, apologised to the affected pilgrims for the inconveniences suffered as a result of the botched arrangement, while assuring that efforts are on to remedy the situation.
Delta has 2,987 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 83 deaths as of September 2, according to data from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.