Belly Mujinga, 47 a railway ticket office worker died of coronavirus after her and a colleague were spat at by a man who claimed he had Covid-19.
Mujinga who had underlying respiratory problems, was working on the concourse after being told to leave the ticket office where she normally works at Victoria station in March when they were assaulted. Within days of being spat at, both women fell ill with the virus.
British Transport Police have launched an enquiry to trace the man who spat at the pair. Mrs Mujinga was on the concourse of the station on 22 March when approached by the suspect.
Agnes Ntumba her cousin, told the BBC Mujinga believed she was safe in her usual work environment – the ticket office. “They should not have made her work on the concourse,” she said
Husband Lusamba Gode Katalay said the man had asked his wife what she was doing there.
“She told him she was working and the man said he had the virus and spat on her,” he added. On April 2nd Mujinga was admitted to Barnet Hospital and put on a ventilator three days later sadly she died, the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA), said.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman described the attack on the key worker as “despicable”.
Mujinga leaves behind her 11-year-old daughter. Her husband said he called his wife on a video app when she was in hospital, but didn’t hear from her again.
“I thought she might be asleep, but the doctor phoned me to tell me she had died,” he said.
“She was a good person, a good mother, and a good wife. She was a caring person and would take care of everybody.”
Only 10 people were allowed to attend Mujinga’s funeral, including her daughter.
“She shouldn’t have died in this condition. We could have prevented it – if she had more PPE or if they kept her inside instead of being on the concourse.”
TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes said: “We are shocked and devastated at Belly’s death. She is one of far too many front-line workers who have lost their lives to coronavirus.”
The union added there were “serious questions about her death”.
“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,” Mr Cortes said. Ms Mujinga’s employer, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), said it “took any allegations extremely seriously” and that it was investigating all claims.
To date 42 Transport for London (TfL) workers have died with Covid-19 and 10 Network Rail staff.