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Maria B and her husband have posted a video online defending themselves regarding the recent incident of sending their infected cook back home and consequently exposing the virus to a lot of people in the time of COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier the designer had posted a video clip in which she was crying and asking for the release of her husband. Soon after, social media users all over Pakistan criticized her and called her out for ‘elite privelege’.
Now in a recent 20 minute video the couple explains how the whole situation wasn’t their fault which received further criticism from the netizens.
After thanking the Prime Minister and the Pakistan Army the couple proceeded towards a lengthy clarification for their actions. Tahir Saeed dubbed the police action as ‘abuse and harassment’ and called himself and his wife the ‘responsible citizens of the country’. However both admitted that they sent the cook back home after discovering his status.
“Suppose we were to test positive for COVID-19 which we haven’t – we both tested negative – are we criminals for it?” said Maria, holding up a copy of her husband’s lab reports as proof.
“My cook went to Vehari at a time when the pandemic had not hit Punjab and he came back on March 11. Around March 18, he complained of some symptoms, so I got Chughtai Lab to come over and run a test for him which came positive,” Maria relayed.
She continued that after the positive results she asked the cook to stay in the servant’s quarter with another family but after the cook pointed out the risk of exposing the other family with the virus the couple asked him to go back home.
“Without any government directive, what do you think we could’ve done? Keep him locked with us?” she questioned.
Further defending their decision they said, “We gave him proper directives, asking him to not travel in public transport. We even gave him extra money for that. He was to travel with his brother. We also made sure he had a spare room he could quarantine in.”
They kept on defending themselves and at last Maria added, “This whole case was made up to portray as though he contracted it from us and we sent him off to Vehari. It’s a virus, it’s everywhere and the government is probably not even aware that it’s in Vehari where he contracted it from and came here!”
This story did not sit well with the netizens and they poured their criticism over social media.
Actor Osman Khalid Butt said in tweet, “If someone tests positive for COVID-19, the absolute 𝘭𝘢𝘴𝘵 thing one should do is send them out into society – if you’re unsure of what step to take, contact the relevant authorities. We all have to play our part in flattening the curve – please let’s all be responsible.”
Politician Jibran Nasir while referencing some rules said, “Can the Police be more polite in Pakistan? Of course but don’t blame them for doing their job. For those who dont know it is crime under PPC 269 & 270 to either negligently or malignantly do acts which you know are likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life.”
Another user Bilal Farooqui while pointing out the involvement of the PM and the Army said, “Maria B thanks PM Imran Khan & army for intervening and having her husband released. Tahir Saaed was arrested for sending his cook, who had tested positive for coronavirus, to his native village. Is PM and army just for rich and punishments only for the poor. Is this ‘Riyasat-e-Madina’ [state of Madinah]?”
Several other users criticised the couple for their reckless and selfish actions and the clear bias of the system towards the elite.