Dr Bijon Kumar Sil, who led a team of scientists at Gonoshasthaya Kendra in inventing the rapid testing kit for the coronavirus, has returned to Singapore due to work permit hurdles, reports bdnews24.com.
Sil, a microbiologist, left Dhaka at 7.30 am Sunday by Biman Bangladesh Airlines, said Jahangir Alam Pradhan, spokesman for Gonoshasthaya Kendra.
Sil needs a work permit to work in Bangladesh after he adopted the citizenship of Singapore. He has been working as the head of the microbiology department of Gono Bishwabidyalay.
After his work permit expired in July, he sought an extension, but his application ran into complications.
"He had to fly to Singapore due to a visa trouble but hoped that he could come back to Bangladesh soon," said Jahangir.
Earlier, Sil had shared his concern over the work permit extension.
"Gono Bishwabidyalay submitted all necessary documents needed for my work permit extension. I assume it will take some time," he said.
"I am a Singaporean citizen. But Bangladesh is the land of my birth. I can't imagine being denied a work permit here. It's not that I come here to work for money. I can work with better facilities in Singapore."
Sil will now have to submit the work permit documents to the Bangladesh High Commission in Singapore to secure an employment visa. He hopes to return to Bangladesh after that.
Sil was born in Natore. His family lives in Singapore. Sil accepted the Singapore citizenship and dropped the Bangladesh citizenship after he joined Singapore Civil Service in 2002.
He played an essential role as a Singaporean scientist in the research on SARS preventions in Southeast Asia in 2003. In February 2019, he was appointed for three years in Gono Bishawbidyalay in Savar.
In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic in Bangladesh, Sil and his team invented a rapid testing kit, known as GR COVID-19 Dot Blot kit, on behalf of Gonoshasthaya Pharmaceuticals. The Directorate General of Drug Administration did not approve it as the regulator found it "below standard".