London woman, 47, dies of coronavirus after man spat on her
Belly Mujinga was spit on while working at busy London train station; job gave her no protective gear despite her being classified 'high risk'
London railway worker Belly Mujinga died from the novel coronavirus just weeks after a man coughed and spat on her. She had preexisting conditions.
London railway worker Belly Mujinga died just weeks after a man assaulted her. Mujinga was working at the city’s busy Victoria station when a customer became irate with her. In his aggression, he coughed and spat at her and her coworker on March 22. He then told them that he had coronavirus.
Both Mujinga and the coworker became ill not long after. Mujinga succumbed to the virus on April 5.
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A police investigation was launched more than a month later. Railway police are asking for anyone with information about the incident to come forward.
Mujinga’s union, the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association, said she was “a vulnerable person” and classified as high risk because of health issues “known to her employer.” Despite her preexisting conditions, Mujinga was reassigned to a more customer-facing role and was not provided with personal protective equipment.
United Kingdom Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, called Mujinga’s death “tragic.” He added, “The fact that she was abused for doing her job is utterly appalling.”
The incident has sparked outrage across the United Kingdom and in the United States where other acts of assault and even murder of essential employees have occurred during the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a report by the BBC, the TSSA union wrote a letter to Johnson appealing for more compensation for essential employees who will be dealing with more passengers as the country begins to reopen. “Belly Mujinga was one of many transport workers bravely going to work to keep our country moving through the pandemic and ensuring that other key workers can get to their workplaces.”
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The report says that in addition to Mujinga, 42 other railway workers have died in the United Kingdom.
Mujinga leaves behind a husband and an 11-year-old daughter, Ingrid. A GoFundMe campaign to help support her family has raised tens of thousands of pounds. The page was been set up by Victoria staff Representative on behalf of her family.