Gul Makai is used to spending time in hotels in various countries because it is something she has done as part of her job. However, staying locked in a room at a hotel in Islamabad, in her own country, is really troublesome for her. Gul Makai, an assumed name being used for anonymity, left her home early Sunday morning, leaving her two children behind at home for her duty as an airhostess on a Pakistan International Airlines flight. She returned to Islamabad on Monday morning but instead of going home, all the airline staff was taken to a hotel and quarantined. “The problem is that they are not even letting us come out of our rooms now. I would have to stay away from my family for around 50 hours because we are waiting here to be tested Tuesday morning,” the perturbed Gul said. There have been fears among the PIA crew, several of which spoke to this correspondent. While all other airlines have stopped operations amid the corona emergency, PIA flights still continue and are causing mental stress to the crew and their families, as well as the flights may prove to be a source of coronavirus spread. A member of the flights operation of the airline, after returning from a flight, revealed that that all seats in their flight were filled to capacity and there was no social distancing while other safety measures were also lacking. Meanwhile, a source within the PIA said that five crewmembers had tested positive for the coronavirus. A flight steward, wishing not to be named, said that flights of longer duration were riskier than the domestic ones. “As per rules, long hours flights are specifically banned amid the epidemic. The longer a flight, the more chances it has to spread the virus because all passengers have to consume the same atmosphere and there is no fresh air in the plane,” he added. However, the public relations manager of the airline claimed that they were trying to ensure safety measures and the screening was also part of it. However, the employees are caught between the rock and a hard place, and confused while locked down in a hotel. Gul Makai also says she is also worried about the tests that she is going to undertake the next morning. “Tomorrow morning, we are going to be tested for coronavirus. I heard it is a very painful test in which a swab is taken from deep down the nostrils. And if the test is negative, I will go home, otherwise I don’t know what will happen to me if the test comes positive,” she told Daily Times by phone from the hotel.