Fashion designer Maria Butt, commonly known as Maria B, along with her husband Tahir Saeed, has come under fire since the last few days for mishandling a corona infected servant. The servant was a chef at their house and they allegedly sent him back to his village, putting thousands of lives at risk.
This entire ordeal began with Maria B’s request to the Prime Minister, to help bail her husband out of jail. In a minute long video, she appeared teary-eyed while talking about the ‘suffering’ she was going through. She explained that her house had been raided at 12.30 am. “As if I was the biggest drug mafia lord in Lahore…,” she said. She questioned why this happened to her family when it’s them who is waiting for their test results.
However, a spokesperson for the Lahore police specified that they had arrested Tahir Saeed for endangering many vulnerable lives after he sent the family’s chef, who tested positive for corona, back to his village. The village is apparently near Vehari and the servant was sent via ‘public bus’ without the couple informing authorities or getting him any treatment for the virus.
شوہر طاہر سعید کیخلا ف مقدمہ، معروف ڈیزائنر ماریہ بی کے موقف پر لاہور پولیس کی وضاحت۔ ماریہ بی کے شوہر طاہر سعید کے ملازم حافظ عمر فاروق میں کورونا کا ٹیسٹ مثبت نکلا۔ لیبارٹری رپورٹ سامنے آنے پر علاج کی بجائے مریض کو عام بس سے وہاڑی بھجوا دیا گیا https://t.co/XZw3T3sWp1
— Spokesman Lahore Police (@CcpoLahore) March 24, 2020
When the chef reached his village he reported to local authorities who then traced back to Saeed in Lahore. Maria B’s video was received with massive backlash, as many people called out their irresponsible behavior.
Her husband was released on bail on Monday and they released a 20-minutes long second video, explaining the entire ordeal. While we were expecting this to be a statement clearing the misunderstanding of their irresponsible behaviour (they probably hoped for that too), it ended up doing the opposite.
The couple explained that going back to the village was their servant’s own choice and they agreed to it. However, they conveyed that upon testing positive, he was put into self-isolation in their servant quarters, where another family was also living. The couple also clarified that Tahir Saeed’s results have came out negative, rubbishing all rumours circulating on social media.
So, not wanting to infect that family, their chef offered to go back home where he could be taken care of. The couple obliged to the request because apparently they did not receive any guidance by the lab on how to deal with a corona infected patient. They cleared that he was given ‘extra money’ to make sure he did not travel by public transport and they also instructed him to self-isolate himself once he has reached his home.
They claimed that when they got the information on March 11, they did not know of the necessary precautions to take. This is not believable because by then, all schools had closed down due to isolation, and there was an active helpline number being circulated to inform about any coronavirus patients. Had they called the helpline, the authorities would have taken the patient under their care.
We cannot say who is right in this situation right now. However, if this is true, there is no way to determine just how many more people might have caught the virus due to this one blunder.