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The Financial Express

Test lab for Covid-19 at airports soon


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The government was expected to select companies to install RT-PCR test labs for Covid-19 at the country's three international airports for UAE-bound workers on Tuesday.

A technical committee, formed by health ministry, would finalise the companies during a meeting at night, expatriates' welfare and overseas employment minister Imran Ahmed told the media on the day.

He said the committee earlier sorted out seven companies. Of them, more competent firms would be picked for the job.

However, the stranded migrants who returned from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) staged a hunger strike on Tuesday outside Probashi Kalyan Bhaban demanding RT-PCR service at airports in the country.

But they halted agitation in the evening after the ministry's assurances over installation of the real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) labs within a few days.

Mohiuddin Belal, a demonstrator, says an estimated 50,000 Bangladeshis remain stranded at home while on vacation.

They are facing uncertainty about joining the workplace as they cannot receive RT-PCR test, he adds.

Many migrants faced visa expiration trouble while many would face the same problem in case of their failure to go to the job destination country soon, Mr Belal said.

He said the minister assured them of making a decision on the installation of the labs within days.

According to the UAE government's guideline, the foreigners wishing to return to their workplace in the gulf country must show result of a Covid-19 test to be done at an airport within six hours of their departure.

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