Health Secretary Abdul Mannan on Thursday announced that the fee of Covid-19 test for outbound passengers has been reduced to Tk300 instead of Tk1,500.
Speaking as the chief guest at a meeting "Tackling the Second Wave of Covid-19" held at the Chittagong Circuit House, the health secretary said, "Even in the pandemic, expatriates have sent a record amount of remittances to the country but they have to pay Tk1,500 for the test for going abroad, which seems inhuman to me."
After the matter was brought to the notice of the Prime Minister, she approved the reduced fee of Tk300 on Wednesday. Passengers travelling abroad can also get the test being at home with the same fee, he added.
At the same time, Abdul Mannan said the private hospitals and clinics were taking extra bills, adding that strict punitive measures would be taken against the hospitals and clinics which were taking extra money from the patients even during the epidemic. In this case, the ministry will handle it iron-handedly.
We have already appointed a committee to determine the medical fees of the private hospital clinics. Policies will be formulated in this regard soon, he said further.
Besides, hoping that Bangladesh will get five million vaccines in February, Abdul Mannan urged everyone to use masks till then.
Additional Divisional Commissioner (Overall) of Chattogram Shankar Ranjan Saha presided over the meeting.
Member of Parliament ABM Fazle Karim Chowdhury, Chittagong City Corporation Administrator Khorshed Alam Sujan, BMA Divisional Representative Dr Sheikh Shafiul Azam, Director General of the Health Department Dr Abul Basar Mohammad Khurshid Alam and Divisional Health Director Dr Hasan Shahriar Kabir spoke at the meeting among others.
Besides, officials and public representatives of various levels of the health department in Chattogram were present at the meeting.