A British railway ticket workplace employee has died from COVID-19 after being spat on whereas she was working at Victoria Station in central London.
Stomach Mujinga, 47, was working with a colleague when a member of the general public assaulted them, spat and coughed over them and mentioned he had the novel coronavirus, mentioned her union, the Transport Salaried Staffs Affiliation (TSSA).
Ms Mujinga, who had an underlying well being situation, was working for Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) on the station concourse on the time of the incident on March 22.
British Transport Police mentioned an investigation had been launched.
“Stomach and her colleague begged to be let to work from contained in the constructing with a protecting barrier between them and the general public for the remainder of that day,” TSSA mentioned in its assertion.
“Administration mentioned they wanted folks working outdoors and despatched them again out onto the concourse for the remainder of their shift.”
Each girls went again outdoors and accomplished their shift however had no private protecting gear.
Ms Mujinga had underlying respiratory issues for which she had had an operation, common hospital appointments and had beforehand wanted to take time without work work.
The union says GTR knew about her situation and, even after the incident, solely stood Ms Mujinga down after her physician known as her work round March 25.
Manuel Cortes, TSSA common secretary, accused GTR of not taking Ms Mujinga’s assault “severely sufficient” and criticised the corporate.
“As a susceptible particular person within the ‘in danger’ class and her situation recognized to her employer, there are questions on why GTR did not stand her down from entrance line duties early on on this pandemic,” Cortes mentioned. “There are critical questions on her dying, it wasn’t inevitable.”
GTR mentioned it was investigating and taking the allegations “extraordinarily severely”.
“The protection of our prospects and employees, who’re key staff themselves, continues to be entrance of thoughts always and we observe the most recent Authorities recommendation,” Angie Doll, managing director at Southern Railway and Gatwick Specific, mentioned.
“We’re devastated that our devoted colleague Stomach has handed away and our deepest sympathies are together with her household, with whom we now have been in contact via this very troublesome time.”
Each Ms Mujinga and her colleague fell unwell from COVID-19 inside days of the assault, in accordance with TSSA.
On April 2 — simply 11 days after the incident — Ms Mujinga was taken to Barnet Hospital, north London, in an ambulance and placed on a ventilator.
“Stomach died on 5 April, 14 days after she was assaulted at Victoria Station,” TSSA mentioned.
She leaves behind an 11-year-old daughter and a husband, who final noticed her when she was taken away by ambulance, the union mentioned.
“We’re shocked and devastated at Stomach’s dying,” Cortes mentioned within the TSSA assertion. The union mentioned it was taking authorized recommendation on the scenario and supporting Ms Mujinga’s household and colleagues.
It additionally reported the incident to the Railways Inspectorate, the security arm of the Workplace for Highway and Rail.
The union says there may be not sufficient steerage or safety for staff on the entrance line, similar to Ms Mujinga.
“Fairly than speaking in regards to the easing the lockdown, the federal government should first make sure that the fitting precautions and protections have been taken in order that extra lives aren’t misplaced,” Cortes mentioned.
“Our rail business must have a really critical take a look at what duties are deemed ‘important’ and should put protections in place for all our members and our passengers.”
The TSSA additionally known as on the federal government to implement further measures to compensate frontline staff from the railway business for his or her work throughout these troublesome occasions.
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