A rail worker in London called Belly Mujinga has died after being spat at intentionally by a coronavirus positive person in London.
The news has been received with sadness in London. The woman and her colleague were spat at by a man who claimed to have the virus when they were working at the rail station. The women fell ill within 5 days of the assault incident. British police are looking for the man and if found, he will be charged with manslaughter or attempted grievous bodily harm.
Mujinga leaves behind her husband and child Ingrid. She was admitted to Barnet hospital and her healtjh deteriorated prompting care givers to put her on a ventilator but she failed to recover and died on 5 April. Two people who witnessed the incident including her cousin Agnes reported that she protested against working without PPE.
The company that employed Belly, Govia Thameslink are reported to have sent her back to work after the spitting incident despite her literally shacking with trauma. The employers allegedly knew about her respiratory problems.
A colleague who witnessed the incident said: “We begged not to go out. We said ‘our lives are in danger’.”
But she said they were told they had to go out.
“We were told that we are not even allowed to put on masks,” the colleague added. “Govia has behaved reckless and negligent. They have failed in their duty of care. We are treated like we are robots.”
Agnes said: “She shouldn’t have been sent out without any PPE. We want justice for Belly. They need to find the person who did it. And the company should compensate the family; her daughter doesn’t have a mother any more. They should protect those who are left.”
Angie Doll, the managing director of Southern Railway and Gatwick Express, which is owned by Govia, said: “We take any allegations extremely seriously, and we are investigating these claims. The safety of our customers and staff, who are key workers themselves, continues to be front of mind at all times and we follow the latest government advice. We urge people only to travel if it is absolutely essential.”
A Govia spokesperson said they were advised that PPE was not required for their services by a government department.
She added: “We have regularly briefed our people to keep washing their hands and to socially distance as far as possible while working.
The incident reached the Prime Minister’s office. A spokesman for Boris Johnson said: “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.”