Wednesday, 27 October, 2021

Inefficient PCR test at HSIA

How should we behave with expatriate workers; should we hold them in high regard or be rude to them instead and simply neglect them? The answer depends much on how we evaluate the role they play in earning foreign exchange for us and in maintaining the country’s macroeconomic stability. Though we are aware of the importance of remittance they send, we very often forget the persons behind the remittance which they earn at the cost of sweat, tears and blood, at far off places away from their near and dear ones.

Remittance sent by our people working abroad is still the second highest source of foreign exchange, next to earnings from the RMG sector. Hence expatriate workers – be they skilled or unskilled – deserve service delivery on a priority basis. But the scenario is just the opposite at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka.

After long agonising stay at home back in the country during the coronavirus pandemic, a significant number of our workers got back the opportunity of returning to the country they had been working previously. But the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) and agencies responsible for conducting polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests at the airport seem to be bent on delaying or disrupting their flight to destinations.

Quoting the Executive Director of HSIA, a front page story of this daily informs that many people could not catch the flights due to delay in getting coronavirus PCR test results at the airport. Though these people reached the airport six hours before the departure time, they were handed over the test reports after the boarding counter closed. This has happened due allegedly to lack of coordination between the DGHS and the testing agencies at the airport and the lengthy and cumbersome process of tests and report delivery.

The result is that at least 75 passengers missed their flight to UAE on Monday night. The authorities concerned obviously failed to have a clear idea about the importance of the workers’ timely flight to the destinations both for the nation and the expatriates themselves. This undue delay in report delivery is tantamount to disruption to their flight. An immediate investigation should be made into the incident to remove the impediments.