A railway ticket collector died from coronavirus after she was spat at by an irate passenger on the station concourse, according to The Mirror.
Belly Mujinga, 47, who had suffered long-term respiratory problems, died in hospital on April 5 – 13 days after the alleged assault at London’s Victoria Station.
The mother-of-one and an unnamed colleague was with her at the time and was also spat on, and both went on to contract Covid-19.
Their attacker, who has not been identified, allegedly told his victims that he had the virus. Although the other woman recovered, Belly’s condition deteriorated after she started to feel ill.
She died just three days after being admitted to an intensive care ward and put on a ventilator. Her husband Lusamba, 60, and their daughter Ingrid, 11, never got to say goodbye.
Ingrid had one last video call from her mum in her bed at Barnet Hospital before she became too sick to talk.
Last night, Lusamba said Belly had asked for a back-office job when the threat of Covid-19 became apparent in early March.
But he alleges that her employer Thameslink, which runs services through the capital, insisted that she should continue dealing with customers face to face before social-distancing rules had been installed.
Lusamba, of Hendon, North London, said his wife had made her bosses aware of her health issues following an operation three years ago.
Belly was diagnosed with the lung condition sarcoidosis, which causes shortness of breath and a persistent dry cough.
The husband further said: “We are sure she got the virus from the man who spat on her, and it could have been so easily avoided. He just shouted at them, ‘What are you doing here?’ and then spat over them deliberately. Belly was so upset and so scared.”
Belly was a member of the TSSA transport workers’ union, which has reported the alleged attack to the Railways Inspectorate, the safety arm of the Office for Road and Rail (ORR), for investigation.
It believes the £60,000 compensation which will be paid to relatives of health and care workers who die as a result of the pandemic should be extended to front-line transport staff too.