Michelle Silvertino: Horrified by death of Filipino woman stranded during coronavirus closure

Michelle Silvertino: Horrified by death of Filipino woman stranded during coronavirus closure

Michelle Silvertino, 33, was found unconscious on a sidewalk along the main highway in the capital, Manila, on June 5th.

The mother of the four-year-old tried to take a bus to her home in Calabanga, Camarines Sur province – more than 400 kilometers southeast of Manila (250 miles) – but due to Covid-19 quarantine measures, public transportation did not work, according to CNN affiliate CNN Philippines.

Silvertino was hiking from Quezon City, north north of Manila, to the town of Pasay City in the south, hoping to make it from there, CNN Philippines reported. However, this proved to be in vain, so she was stranded on the sidewalk for several days, where she was found unconscious and later pronounced dead in hospital.

Her death sparked outrage in the Philippines, and the hashtag #JusticeforMichelleSilvertino was addressed on Twitter. People across the country have joined a social campaign calling for justice and criticizing the government for not doing enough to help impoverished workers like Silvertino.

In March, the Philippines adopted strict coronavirus locking measures that included the suspension of mass public transport on the island of Luzon, which includes the capital Metro Manila, and residents were ordered to stay at home.
After almost 80 days, these restrictions in the capital began to decrease 1. June, and public transport is allowed to continue in part, per on CNN Philippines. However, buses traveling between the provinces are still banned.

Silvertino’s condition is shared by many Filipino workers who were left dry during the cover-up because they could not travel home due to restrictions.

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CNN Philippines reported that hundreds of stranded passengers at the camp were under a highway near Manila International Airport on Thursday after their flights were canceled.

“We’re here like beggars. All we want is to go home to our families,” one passenger told the news agency.

The rush over Silvertin’s death, however, reached the presidential palace and on Thursday the government announced it would help stranded workers in the country return home.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque stands in the statement that Silvertin’s situation will not be repeated, and social welfare and transportation departments will help those gathered at bus stops and airports.

“No one wanted that to happen, but now we will take steps to make sure what happened to Michelle doesn’t happen again. We have a new policy to help all those who lie in airports and bus terminals,” he said. Roque.

The statement added that the stranded workers would undergo rapid tests for Covid-19 before finding it.

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