Railway worker dies with Covid-19 after being spat at

A London 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.

Within days of the assault, both women fell ill with the virus.

Ms 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 her funeral.

The railway worker has been described as “a good person, a good mother and a good wife” who cared for everybody by her devastater widower.

Surrey Comet:

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.”

Within a week she had been admitted to hospital, the last time Mr Katalay saw her.

He said: “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.

Mr Katalay said: “She was a good person, a good mother, and a good wife.

“She gave her friendship to many people. She was a caring person and would take care of everybody.”

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.

TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes said: “We are shocked and devastated at Belly’s death. She is one of far too many frontline workers who have lost their lives to coronavirus.

“There are serious questions about her death; it wasn’t inevitable.

“As a vulnerable person in the ‘at risk’ category, and her condition known to her employer, there are questions about why she wasn’t stood down from frontline duties early on in this pandemic.”

British Transport Police said in a statement: “British Transport Police have now launched an investigation into a report of two members of rail staff being spat at while working at London Victoria station on 22nd March.

“One of the victims, a 47-year-old woman, very sadly died in hospital on April 5th. Enquiries are ongoing and anyone who has any information is asked to contact BTP by texting 61016 or calling 0800 40 50 40 and quoting reference 359 of 11/05/20.”

Surrey Comet | Kingston