UPDATE (June 1): Following the death of Belly Mujinga, a London-based railway worker who was spat on by a carrier of the coronavirus, the British Transport Police have said that they will not be prosecuting the man who claimed he had the virus as he spat on his victims.
Belly Mujinga passed away last month while she carried out her duties as an essential worker during the national lockdown. While working with a colleague, it appeared that both women quickly came down with the virus shortly after.
The 57-year-old man who said he had COVID-19 was caught on CCTV and has been identified by the police, however no further action will be taken following interviews with the suspect and witness.
"On 11 May, it was reported to BTP that a 47-year-old lady, Belly Mujinga, had been spat and coughed at while working in the ticket hall with two colleagues on 21 March," The British Transport Police said in a statement. "Following a review of all the information, senior detectives have concluded that there is no evidence to substantiate any criminal offences having taken place and that the tragic death of Belly Mujinga was not a consequence of this incident. As a result, the matter will not be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service.”
Calls for action have continued to dominate social media, with many members of the public expressing their emotions towards the situation under the hashtag #JusticeForBellyMujinga.
To have your say in helping find justice towards the crimes targeted towards Belly Mujinga, you can file a complaint to The British Transport Police here. In addition, a Go Fund Me page has been set up in her honour—which you can donate to here—and "all future donations will go to support the family, especially Belly's little girl."
Original story below.
A London railway worker has died of COVID-19 after being spat at by a passenger while on duty.
47-year-old Belly Mujinga was working on the concourse of Victoria Station in March when a man, who was claiming he had coronavirus, coughed on her and her colleague.
Days after they were assaulted, both women fell ill of the disease. Ms Mujinga had underlying health conditions, which included respiratory problems, putting her at high risk of developing critical symptoms of COVID-19. She was admitted to Barnet Hospital, where she was put on a ventilator, but unfortunately died on April 5. Due to the current social distancing rules, only 10 people were able to attend her funeral.
Ms Mujinga's husband, Lusamba Gode Katalay, said that their daughter (and Ms Mujinga's only child) "just does not understand what has happened." He added, "It's terrible to lose the person you love so quickly. We are sure she got the virus from the man who spat on her, and it could have been so easily avoided."
The assualt has been reported to the Railways Inspectorate, which is the safety arm of the Office for Road and Rail (ORR), and is beginning to take legal action against the attack.
General Secretary of the ORR, Manuel Cortes, has called for the £60,000 compensation paid to the relatives of health and care workers who die as a result of the virus to be extended to all frontline workers, including transport staff.
"Sadly, Belly's is just one of many family tragedies where children have had their parents taken away from them," Cortes said. "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."
Angie Doll, the Managing Director of Southern Railway and Gatwick Express, has said that the company is "devastated" by Belly's death and have launched an investigation. In addition, the British Transport Police is also looking into the alleged assault claims. Anyone with information is asked to text 61016 or call 0800 40 50 40, quoting reference 359 of 11/05/20.
Rest in peace, Ms Mujinga.