Covid Test at Hsia: Service to start from tomorrow
The rt-PCR testing facility for outgoing passengers inside Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport will be available from tomorrow, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said yesterday.
"We hope the construction of all infrastructures will be completed by this evening [yesterday]… If everything is ok, outbound passengers will be able to go to their foreign destinations smoothly after getting tested in these rt-PCR labs [at HSIA]," he said while visiting the airport in the afternoon.
The minister said there will be a total of 12 rt-PCR machines available in six labs, which will be able to test 3,000-4,000 samples every day.
There will be both the rapid-PCR and the general rt-PCR testing services in at the airport.
Earlier on Wednesday night, around 46 Bangladeshi expatriate workers flew to UAE on an experimental basis following Covid-19 tests in a mobile rt-PCR lab at the HSIA within six hours of their flight.
DMFR Molecular Lab and Diagnostic, one of the seven healthcare facilities permitted to set up labs at the HSIA, have so far installed a mobile lab to conduct Covid-19 test for UAE-bound passengers.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on September 6 instructed the ministries concerned and the Health Directorate to set up labs at the international airports in Dhaka, Chattogram and Sylhet within two to three days.
The expatriates' welfare ministry on September 15 announced that on the basis of the recommendations made by the Health Directorate, it has given permission to seven healthcare facilities to set up labs at the HSIA.
The following day on September 16, Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) at a meeting asked the representatives of the seven organisations to set up their labs at the rooftop of the two-storey car park building at the Dhaka airport.
The representatives argued that it would not be possible for them to set up labs in an open space due to various complications. CAAB, however, remained rigid on their stance.
On September 21, Expatriates' Welfare Minister Imran Ahmad and Health Minister Zahid Maleque said the venue designated by the CAAB is not suitable for setting up labs for now.
In the presence of top officials of Prime Minister's Office, the two ministers in a new decision said labs will now be set up temporarily inside the airport.