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Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Railway ticket office worker In UK, 47, Dies Of Coronavirus After Man Who Said Had The Disease SPAT At Her In Victoria Station

Belly Mujinga died after she and a colleague were spat at by a man at London Victoria Station who was infected with Covid-19

A railway ticket officer has died from Covid-19 after a man who said he was infected spat at her and a colleague at London Victoria Station.  

Belly Mujinga, 47, was on the concourse of the station 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 was mother to an 11-year-old daughter, was admitted to Barnet Hospital, north London, on April 2 and put on a ventilator but died three days later. 

Her colleague, who remains unnamed, has made a full recovery from her home. 


A spokesman for Prime Minister 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 family’s at this terrible time.'
Ten people were able to attend the mother's funeral, but friends and family have paid tribute to her online, with one person writing: 'Rest in peace aunty Belly Mujinga that we used to call "Mama I Baby"' 
Colleague Akin Macaulay wrote: 'Belly, my colleague and my birthday mate, may your soul rest in peace and may the Lord comfort your Husband and daughter and the extended family at this time and uphold them all.'
Mr Macaulay shared a fundraising page which had raised £1,500 to support the GTR worker's family.   
Friends and colleagues have paid tribute to the wife and mother who died in April after she was spat at on the concourse of London Victoria Station

Friends and colleagues have paid tribute to the wife and mother who died in April after she was spat at on the concourse of London Victoria Station
The Transport Salaried Staffs Association 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.
'The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, recently announced that £60,000 would be paid to the survivors of health and care workers who die as a result of the pandemic.
'Our view is that this compensation should be extended to the families of all frontline workers who perish trying to keep our country and vital services going.
'Sadly, Belly's is just one of many family tragedies where children have had their parents taken away from them.
Belly Mujinga worked at the ticket office at London Victoria Station, she was rushed to Barnet Hospital in March after contracting Covid-19


Belly Mujinga worked at the ticket office at London Victoria Station, she was rushed to Barnet Hospital in March after contracting Covid-19
'However, 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.
'Rather than talking about the easing the lockdown, the government must first ensure that the right precautions and protections have been taken so that more lives are not lost.
'Anyone who is vulnerable should remain at home and home working should be the default wherever possible.
'Our rail industry needs to have a very serious look at what tasks are deemed 'essential' and must put protections in place for all our members and our passengers.'
Govia Thameslink  Railway said it was taking allegations from the union 'seriously'.
Managing Director Angie Doll, said: 'We are devastated that our dedicated colleague Belly has passed away and our deepest sympathies are with her family, with whom we have been in touch through this very difficult time.
'Tragically, many people across the country have now been directly affected by Covid-19, including those in the rail industry who are doing the vital job of ensuring train services can continue.
'We urge people only to travel if it is absolutely essential.'
TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes said the union was 'shocked and devastated,' by the death of Belly Mujinga


TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes said the union was 'shocked and devastated,' by the death of Belly Mujinga
A spokesman for British Transport Police said: 'We have now launched an investigation into a report of two members of rail staff being spat at while working at London Victoria station on 22 March. One of the victims, a 47-year-old woman, very sadly died in hospital on April 5.' 
Anyone who saw Ms Mujinga, or her colleague, being spat at can contact BTP by texting 61016 or calling 0800 40 50 40 quoting reference 359 of 11/05/20.
News of Ms Mujinga's death comes as passengers return to London's train and Tube stations. 
Yesterday the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) advised its members not to work if they felt unsafe, amid fears over a surge in passengers on the railways and Tubes.
Bus and coach drivers, particularly men, were found to have a high er likelihood of death from Covid-19 compared to people with 'professional' jobs. 
The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) advised its members not to work if they felt unsafe.

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