Seven institutions have been given permission to set up rt-PCR labs for Covid-19 testing at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA)
A total of 46 Bangladeshi migrant workers left Dhaka for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after being tested for Covid-19 at the airport on Wednesday.
They opted to return to their respective destinations amid the pandemic.
Speaking to Dhaka Tribune, the airport’s Executive Director Group Captain Touhid-ul Ahsan said a flight of Emirates (EK587) departed for Dubai with the Bangladeshi nationals at 7:30pm.
Earlier in the day, a mobile lab supervised by the DMFR Molecular Lab and Diagnostic healthcare centre started conducting the Covid-19 tests of the Dubai-bound expatriates on a trial basis, said an airport health official.
They would receive rt-PCR test certificates before flying, he added.
It may be recalled that on September 15, the Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry gave permission to seven institutions to set up rt-PCR labs for Covid-19 testing at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA).
The institutions are – Stemz Healthcare (BD) Ltd, CSBF Health Center, AMZ Hospital Ltd, Anwar Khan Modern Medical College Hospital, Zainul Haque Sikder Women’s Medical College and Hospital, Gulshan Clinic Ltd and DMFR Molecular Lab and Diagnostic.
However, within two days of the announcement, the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) informed the lab authorities that before setting up their labs they needed to submit Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
The SOPs of the seven companies will be sent to the UAE to check whether they are up to standard. Apart from Zainul Haque Sikder Women’s Medical College and Hospital, all the other institutions submitted their SOPs.
Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Director (hospital) Farid Hossain said: “It is now up to the CAAB to decide who will set up the lab and who will not. Our job is to monitor the quality of the labs and Covid-19 testing facilities.”