Belly Mujinga, a 47-year old UK rail worker, is now dead after a man intentionally coughed and spat at her and a colleague, claiming he was infected “with coronavirus.”
As the Govia Thameslink ticket collector worked on the Victoria station concourse in Southwest London, the incident occurred on March 22.
Mujinga, the mother of an 11-year-old girl, Ingrid, tested positive days after the assault for the novel virus, along with her coworker. Mujinga was admitted to Barnet hospital and placed on a ventilator, but died on April 5 after her conditions worsened.
Her family and other colleagues, noting she had respiratory issues, are now outraged after they claim she’d complained to employers about working without PPE. They also claim she’d begged not to go back out to the platform after being shaken up over the attack, but her employers dismissed her request and sent her back to work, again without PPE.
Following the incident, a spokeswoman for Govia cited official government advice as their excuse for why their employees were without protection. She stated, “PPE for our staff was not required. We have regularly briefed our people to keep washing their hands and to socially distance as far as possible while working.”
In addition, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson shared, “It is despicable for a key worker to be attacked in this way while serving the travelling public. Our thoughts are with Mrs Mujinga’s family at this terrible time.”
An investigation into Mujinga’s death has been launched.