This week, social media went into a frenzy after pictures of celebrities attending actor Fahad Mirza’s 40th birthday amid the coronavirus pandemic caught the eye of netizens. The dinner and cake-cutting were followed by a qawwali night, subsequently enraging fans who called out the stars for negligence.
As the country fights to tackle the ongoing third wave of Covid-19, many hoped showbiz personalities would “practice what they preach” and follow the SOPs instructed by the government and the NCOC.
One of the stars to have been spotted at the party was Sheheryar Munawar.After being called out on social media, the Pehli Si Mohabbat star has now issued an apology for breaching SOPs. Taking to Twitter, Munawar shared, "Last week, I went to wish my neighbour on his birthday on an invitation I had accepted two weeks prior. Not expecting the crowd, I wished him and left within five minutes of being there. In a candid moment, I was asked to take my mask off and pose for a picture."
He went on to add, "Rightly so, I was called out for doing that [taking the mask off] and not following the SOPs. There is no justification for my actions and I stand corrected. I apologise for my ignorance, lapse in judgment and lack of better sense." Munawar concluded by saying, "A big thank you to my social media family for keeping my moral compass in check. We owe each other as much. Times are tough and we must all follow SOPs outlined by the government. My prayers go out to the families affected."
Earlier, the Ho Mann Jahaan star shared his two cents on the surge in cases in Pakistan and pleaded with everyone to follow safety protocols. "Highest number of deaths recorded in a single day in Pakistan since the start of the pandemic. In this alarming situation, let’s please play our part by following the SOPs," the Parey Hut Love star wrote on Twitter.
Speaking of the same backlash, PR mogul Frieha Altaf issued a clarification as well. "First of all, it was a very small gathering and it was on an open rooftop. All SOPs were followed, there were masks, temperature checks at the gate and I believe most of the guests are already vaccinated or had antibodies," Altaf told The Express Tribune.
She continued, "The only time anyone took off the mask was to take a picture. I think when people see pictures and videos, they end up assuming the worst." Talking about sending out a wrong message of encouraging public gatherings, Altaf shared, "I think, be it public figures, celebrities, politicians, the general public – it’s everyone’s responsibility to be responsible about the pandemic and if you see my posts on Twitter, you will constantly see me talking about asking people to get vaccinated to stay safe because we all realise that we have to follow these measures to keep our country safe, to keep working and provide for our families and get rid of the pandemic."
She mentioned, "It’s been very stressful and very hard on everyone and we know what’s happening in India and so we need to be extra careful."
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