Michelle Silvertino: Filipino woman dies after waiting days for bus while locked in corona

Michelle Silvertino: Filipino woman dies after waiting days for bus while locked in corona

Michelle Silvertino, 33, was found unconscious on a pedestrian bridge along a major highway in the capital Manila on June 5.

The mother of four had tried to take a bus to her home in Calavanga, Camarines Sur province – more than 400 kilometers southeast of Manila (250 miles) – but due to quarantine measures Covid-19 did not operate public transport, according to CNN subsidiary CNN Philippines.

Silvertino walked from Quezon, north of Manila, to Pasay in the south, hoping to take a walk from there, CNN Philippines reported. But this proved futile and became illegal on a pedestrian bridge for several days, where she was found unconscious and later pronounced dead at the hospital.

Her death angered the Philippines and the hashtag #JusticeforMichelleSilvertino took to Twitter. People across the country have joined the social media campaign, calling for justice and criticizing the government for not doing enough to help latent workers like Silvertino.

In March, the Philippines imposed strict measures to lock in coronavirus, which included the suspension of 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 relax on June 1 and public transport was able to continue in part, according to CNN Philippines. However, it is forbidden to transport buses between provinces.

Silvertino’s misery is shared by many Filipino workers who were left stranded during the lockout as they were unable to travel home due to restrictions.

CNN Philippines mentionted that hundreds of latent passengers camped off a highway near Manila International Airport on Thursday after their flights were canceled.

“We are like beggars here. All we want is to return to our families,” one passenger told the news agency.

However, the outcry over Silvertino’s death reached the presidential palace and on Thursday the government announced that it would help the wrong workers in the country to return to their homeland.

Presidential Spokesman Harry Rock he said in a statement that the situation in Silvertino will not be repeated and the welfare and transport departments will help those gathered at bus and airport stops.

“Nobody wanted that to happen, but now we’re going to take steps to ensure that what happened in Michelle doesn’t happen again. We have a new policy to help all those who are at airports and bus terminals,” Rock said.

The statement added that latent workers would undergo rapid tests for the Covid-19 before being transported.

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