The RT-PCR test facilities at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport for outbound expatriates will be available by next week, said Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmad today.
"The installation work will start after 7-10 days since the Rapid PCR machines will be brought from abroad," he said while visiting Dhaka Airport on Tuesday morning.
"However, we will be able to install RT-PCR machines within the next 2/3 days," he added.
Reportedly, the facility will temporarily begin offering its service from the airport terminal owing to the extra time needed to prepare the lab at the multi-storey airport car parking building.
Health Minister Zahid Maleque said, "Companies assigned with the installation will soon begin their work. It may take some time but the labs will be set up with all kinds of facilities."
The UAE has made it mandatory for migrants returnees to get a rapid PCR test six hours prior to flying from Bangladesh. The decision put around 40,000 UAE-bound Bangladeshi workers in limbo as they fear visa expiration and job losses.
On 15 September, the Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment gave permission to seven healthcare facilities to set up labs at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.
Among them, six laboratories sent standard operating procedure (SOP) to United Arab Emirates (UAE) to get approval.
The wait to get approval from the UAE is the reason behind the delay to start Covid-19 testing for departing migrants at Dhaka Airport, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB).
CAAB Chairman Air Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman on Monday expected that the UAE would finalise the procedure soon.