No Covid-19 deaths have been reported in London for the first time in six months, official figures show.
Public Health England (PHE) figures for 28 March show there were zero deaths registered of patients within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test.
At the height of the crisis last April, about 230 deaths a day linked to the virus were recorded in London.
“This is a fantastic milestone, but we’re a long way from returning to normal,” one doctor told the BBC.
London accounts for 12 per cent of all coronavirus deaths in the UK, and was the epicentre of the first wave of the pandemic last year.
At that time, University College Hospital had “two or three patients dying every couple of days”, intensive care doctor Jim Down said.
“We’re down to about seven Covid-19 patients on the intensive care unit and we’re expecting them to get better.
“It’s a wonderful feeling but it sets up new challenges.
“The backlog for people needing hip replacements and cancer treatment is vast. You need to bring start bringing them back in but keep the hospitals ready in case of a third wave.”
UK Covid infections
UK-wide the coronavirus death toll rose by 19 and cases increased by a further 3,862, the government has announced.
It brings the total death toll up to 126,592 and total cases to 4,333,042.
Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies show there have now been 149,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
Meanwhile, more than 30 million people in the UK have had a first dose of a Covid vaccine, it has been announced, as the government says it is “confident” everyone will receive their second jab within 12 weeks.
Asked about the concerns over supply, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said “we always knew there would be ups and downs” but the timetable was on track.
Data shows more than 3.5 million adults have now received their second dose.
The first Moderna jabs are due to arrive in the UK by late April, potentially increasing supply by up to 17 million.