LONDON: In a very sad situation, a railway ticket office worker has died of coronavirus after being spat at while on duty. Belly Mujinga, 47, was on the concourse of Victoria station in London in March when a member of the public who said he had Covid-19 spat and coughed at her and a colleague.
According to media reports, within days of the assault, both women fell ill with the virus. Mujinga, who had underlying respiratory problems, was admitted to Barnet Hospital and put on a ventilator but died on April 5, her trade union, the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA), said. Ten people attended the mother-of-one’s funeral.
The union has reported the incident to the Railways Inspectorate, the safety arm of the Office for Road and Rail (ORR), for investigation and is taking legal advice on the situation. British Transport Police are investigating.
Her husband, Lusamba Gode Katalay, told the PA news agency how the suspect walked up to Ms Mujinga and spat in her face. He said: “The man asked her what she was doing, why she was there, and she said they were working.
“The man said he had the virus and spat on them. They reported it to their supervisor. Belly came home and told me everything.”
Mr Katalay said his wife had an operation four years ago and had underlying respiratory problems. Within a week of the incident, she began to feel ill and was admitted to hospital on April 2. “That was the last time I saw her,” Mr Katalay said.
“We just said: ‘Be good,’ and that God is in charge. We did a WhatsApp video in hospital, but then I didn’t hear from her again. I thought she might be asleep, but the doctor to phoned me to tell me she had died.”
Mr Katalay and daughter Ingrid were two of just 10 people at Ms Mujinga’s funeral on April 29, following her death on April 5. Ms Mujinga was originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo and moved to the UK in 2000.