Verbal warning issued, CAAB urged to take action
As many as nine domestic and foreign airlines brought 544 passengers without Covid-19 negative certificates to Bangladesh between Saturday and Monday morning, despite the certificates being mandatory for incoming passengers.
A total 3,788 passengers landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) in Dhaka on Saturday and 2,967 others on Sunday, said Dr Nasrin Akter, the airport’s medical officer.
She could not confirm how many passengers were flown to Bangladesh on Monday.
At least 304 inbound passengers without Covid-19 negative certificates arrived on Saturday, 195 on Sunday and another 45 had arrived as of Monday evening, she said.
All 544 passengers were sent into organizational quarantine, the doctor added.
Worryingly, national flag-career Biman Bangladesh Airlines is one of the airlines flouting the order on Covid-19 negative certificates, issued by the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) on November 30 and in force since December 5.
Airlines are required to inform and guide their passengers about the required documents and procedures well before the departure to avoid inconveniences at the airport, said the directive.
It also directed airport authorities to conduct checks on inbound passengers. If any Covid-19 symptoms are detected in a passenger, he/she will be sent to a government authorized hospital for further checks or kept in an isolation centre depending on the nature and intensity of the symptoms.
The directive covers all scheduled international passenger flights of Bahrain, China, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Malaysia, Maldives, Oman, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Turkey, UAE and UK to or from Bangladesh.
Upon finding out about the arrival of passengers without certificates, the Dhaka airport authorities verbally warned the airlines and reported them to CAAB, urging the latter to take proper action, reports Bangla Tribune.
Group Captain AHM Touhid-ul-Ahsan, director of the airport, told Bangla Tribune that he had verbally warned the airlines over the incident.
“A list of the airlines responsible for this breach of protocol has also been sent to the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh for further action,” he added.
Sample collection begins
The authorities on Monday collected samples of 233 of the passengers at booths set up at the Diyabari quarantine centre in Uttara, airport sources said.
Collection of samples at the other quarantine centre (Haji Camp in Ashkona) may start in a day or two, they added.