Migrant workers fasting unto death for RT-PCR lab at Dhaka airport

Monitor Desk Report Date: 14 September, 2021 | 586 Views

Demanding RT-PCR lab at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA), a section of Bangladeshis working in United Arab Emirates, who are stranded here, started fast unto death in front of the Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment in Dhaka this noon.

“We are often called remittance fighters though we are not evaluated properly. Since the UAE made it mandatory to conduct corona test of the Gulf State-bound passengers six hours before departure, many countries have set up RT PCR lab at airports. But the government is yet to take step in this regard,” said Abdullah Al Shaheen, a UAE-bound expatriate.

"The minister has scheduled a meeting with us after lunch. We want a specific deadline. Otherwise, we will continue our demonstration," Engineer SM Mohiuddin Belal Roni, one of the organisers of the demonstration told.

Having no RT-PCR lab at Dhaka airport, around 50,000 expats working in UAE have not been able to go back to work.

The government has arranged sample collection booths at the Army Stadium, designated for migrant workers.

However, it takes at least 24 hours to get test results, they said. Expats working in UAE -- stranded here -- have been staging demonstration for the past one month, they claimed.

Earlier on September 6, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina directed to set up an RT-PCR lab at the airport in response to the expats' previous demonstration.

On August 4, the UAE government imposed a condition for migrant workers from different countries, including Bangladesh that they must carry Covid-19 negative certificate based on RT-PCR test within six hours before boarding the plane.


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