Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Thursday said the passengers travelling abroad can be tested for Covid-19 at RT-PCR testing facilities at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport from Saturday.
He made the announcement while inspecting the groundwork at the airport for setting up the lab.
He expressed hope that the infrastructures will be finished installing by Thursday evening.
"In order to get the RT PCR lab installed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport as soon as possible, I personally came here Tuesday and picked the spot," he told the media.
"Several [testing] machines have already arrived. All the concerned officials of the health sector are working tirelessly for this. If all goes well, people going abroad will be able to go without any hassle by testing from these labs on Saturday," the minister added.
The minister further noted that 12 testing machines will be set up in six labs. "Daily 3,500-4,000 passengers can test for Covid-19 in those labs," said Zahid Maleque.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had earlier directed authorities concerned to set up rapid PCR labs to carry out Covid-19 tests on outbound passengers at the country's three international airports within three to four days.
Following this directive, the Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment on 15 September gave permission to seven healthcare facilities to set up labs at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.
Outbound passengers will be able to undergo Covid-19 tests at the booths by paying a minimum of Tk1,700 to a maximum of Tk2,300, according to a ministry circular issued on Wednesday.
The approval came a day after a group of migrant workers announced a hunger strike in front of the ministry, demanding Covid-19 testing booths at the airport. The strike was later called off.
The DGHS has also formed a five-member team to monitor the quality of the tests at the labs being set up at the airport.