After so long, the Ishrat Made in China team is finally back home. But at what cost?
Sanam Saeed took to Twitter to share just that; the actor spoke about her return to Pakistan and what the quarantine's been like so far.
The cast and crew had wrapped up shooting for Mohib Mirza's directorial debut when Covid-19 became a global pandemic, leading to a lockdown of cities and international flights. The team was stuck in Thailand for over 20 days and had appealed to Pakistan government for assistance.
The actor revealed that upon landing, the passengers were all put in isolation immediately, but not only were they being charged for it, they were being charged a lot. The actor gave an update this morning about the past two days.
Saeed shared that not only did the ticket back to Pakistan cost Rs 111,000 each (one way!) and the meals Rs 1000, but the people staying were forced to pay the hefty accommodation costs for the entire week upfront, accompanied by the threat that they would be sent somewhere else if they didn't comply.
She also clarified that the stragglers were told that accommodation would be free.
"We understand the government is doing their best to manage the situation," said Sanam. "But... stranded travelers need be better informed of what to expect... Embassy must clearly state stay options and costs [and] people need to be mentally, physically and financially prepared."
Shamoon Abbasi, who has been giving updates ever since they were stranded in Thailand, also spoke up about the current situation calling out the hotel for extortion.
According to Abbasi, "At the airport we were told that we will be staying in Ramada hotel (which we didn't ask or demanded) and were told that this includes our stay and food... Now the management of the hotel (Ramada) is threatening every one to pay or leave the hotel immediately."
"There are people that have no idea on how to pay further as every one have paid such a big Amount of money to get back thinking this will include the stay, food and tests"
Abbasi revealed that the passengers were told at the airport that they'll have a one night stay "and will be tested in the morning" with the results coming in six to eight hours. If negative, they can go home.
However, "The management said we can't do your test and you have to pay for the stay till a week from now as the government has implied a weeks lockdown for all those passengers that came from abroad... We are ready to do our test as all the other passengers are!"
He went on to say, "We demand a clearer picture on why aren't we tested yet as we were already spending our time in quarantine abroad... And why the hotel management is threatening us every 10 mins to leave the hotel!"
Shamoon asked the authorities to look into it.
The people traveling back were not just big celebrities like Sanam Saeed, Shamoon Abbasi and Mohib Mirza but also crew members and staffers who were already struggling when stranded in Thailand. To be hit with such uncertain financial costs without any preparation or options is the last thing people need right now.