Sixteen facilities across the country designated for testing samples of passengers
Travelling abroad from Bangladesh will require obtaining a Covid-19 negative certificate issued by facilities designated by the government.
In an official notification to the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) on Friday, the Civil Aviation Ministry designated 16 state-run medical facilities across the country for the tests.
Of them, three are in the capital Dhaka and the rest are in Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar, Barisal, Comilla, Narayanganj, Khulna, Kushtia, Mymensingh, Bogra, Rajshahi, Dinajpur, Rangpur and Sylhet.
Travellers have to provide samples 72 hours before their flights, while the testing facilities will have to deliver the reports 24 hours before flight departures.
The institutions testing the samples will have to update the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) and Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) every day over the results.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry, in its recommendation to the Civil Aviation Ministry, slapped 10 conditions for the facilities testing samples for air passengers.
As per the conditions, the designated facilities will charge Tk3,500 for tests for samples provided at the collection booths, while an additional Tk1,000 will be charged if samples are collected from home.
Passengers will submit travelling details and documents with the civil surgeon’s office and provide samples at the booth set up there.
Apart from delivering test reports to the civil surgeons’ offices, the testing facilities will have to upload the reports to the immigration website.
Civil surgeons’ offices have been told to open separate hotlines for the service and ensure that the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism, Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment, Health Services Division and DGHS are updated, according to officials.
Ayesha Akter, who is in-charge of the DGHS Control Room, said on Saturday that the list of the designated 16 testing facilities had been forwarded to the health ministry.
Civil Aviation Secretary Md Mohibul Haque confirmed receiving the list from the health ministry.
He said that from July 23, passengers would require Covid-19 certificates for travelling abroad.
“Passengers will have to submit their travel documents with the civil surgeons’ offices before they can provide samples for testing,” Haque said on Saturday.
The designated facilities will have to meet the 10 conditions imposed by the health ministry, he added.
The senior government official said that the passengers can get their samples tested from any of the 16 facilities irrespective of their addresses in Bangladesh before adding that a previous list of testing facilities by the UAE government is no longer valid.
“Passengers must isolate themselves after providing samples. The Covid-19 clearance certificates can be either downloaded from the websites of the testing facilities or collected in person,” he added.
On July 12, the government announced that it would make it mandatory for all Bangladeshis flying abroad to obtain Covid-19 clearance certificates provided by any DGHS-approved facility.
Later, the DGHS recommended the 33 private facilities for the testing, which was turned down by the Civil Aviation Ministry as the recommendation did not include any state-run facilities.