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THOUSANDS of pounds have been raised to support the family of a Ministry of Justice (MoJ) cleaner who died last month from suspected Covid-19.
Emanuel Gomes, who was originally from Guinea Bissau, continued to go to work despite displaying symptoms of the virus and died shortly after leaving the central London office on April 23.
His union, United Voices of the World (UVW), says he was obliged to continue cleaning the near-empty offices because he couldn’t afford to take time off.
Cleaners at the MoJ are employed by outsourced firm OCS and are entitled only to statutory sick pay, which gives no pay for the first three days off, and then just £18 per day.
Colleagues of Mr Gomes said that in the days before he died he had lost his appetite, was suffering from an intense fever and appeared delirious.
On April 23 he was helped home by a colleague. “He would never miss work when sick, and in the last few days he was really ill,” his friend, who wanted to remain anonymous, said. “I wanted to call an ambulance.
“Some people thought that an ambulance wouldn’t come and that the hospitals were full, so there was no point. I took him home on public transport. When we got to Victoria station he didn’t even know where he was.”
The crowdfunder set up by UVW last week, has raised over £10,000 to support Mr Gomes’s family and help them repatriate his body to Guinea Bissau.
OCS had not responded to a request for comment by the time the Star went to print.
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