The government is expecting to receive a response from the United Arab Emirates today on setting up RT-PCR testing laboratories at the Dhaka airport.
Seven institutions initially received the government’s nod for setting up RT-PCR test facilities at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport for migrants, mainly flying to the Middle Eastern country.
The UAE sought their standard operating procedure (SOP) for scrutiny. But Zainul Haque Sikder Women’s Medical College Hospital did not send its SOP which resulted in its exclusion from the list of government-approved institutions.
After a meeting on Monday evening, officials of health, civil aviation and expatriates’ welfare ministries said the six other approved institutions submitted a joint layout to set up labs on the multi-storied parking building’s roof.
They will have a combined service centre.
A high-level delegation will decide on the locations of the labs after visiting the site today, a civil aviation official said.
“Labs won’t be set up until we get clearance from the UAE,” the official told The Business Post. “We expect to get the clearance within today.”
According to the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment, the UAE has made it mandatory for passengers from Bangladesh to depart within six hours of taking an RT-PCR test.
The six approved private laboratories are — Gulshan Clinic Limited, Stemz Health Care (BD) Limited Dhaka, CSBF Health Centre, AMZ Hospital Limited, Anwar Khan Modern Medical College Hospital (AKMMCH), and DMFR Molecular Lab and Diagnostics.
Meanwhile, the expatriates’ welfare ministry has fixed the test fees. The laboratories would enable passengers to undergo Covid-19 tests at the booths by paying a minimum of Tk 1,700 to a maximum of Tk 2,300.
The authorities of the labs said it would take at least a month to construct rooms on the rooftop, install air conditioning, ensuring minimum biosafety level to maintain the quality of the labs, cooler boxes per booth, biosafety cabinet, PCR cabinet, changing room, washing and handwashing facilities.
Thousands of workers became stranded after returning home amid the pandemic. They are now getting ready to return to the UAE as the virus situation is improving.
The UAE is one of the most popular destinations for Bangladeshi workers. Last year, Bangladeshis working in the Middle Eastern country sent back more than $2.5 billion or 11.53 per cent of the total remittance received in 2020, according to the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training.
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