According to Public Health England, on March 28 there were no patients in London who succumbed to the virus. Anyone who dies within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 is counted as a fatality.

It marks the first time that the city has gone without a Covid-related death since September 14.

Since the start of the pandemic, 15,000 people in the city have died within 28 days of testing positive for the virus. To date, London hospitals have listed Covid-19 as a cause of death on 18,000 death certificates. At the peak of the health crisis in April, the city of nine million recorded around 230 Covid-related deaths per day. The metropolis has accounted for 12% of all Covid-related deaths in the country.

An intensive care doctor at University College Hospital told the BBC that zero daily deaths from coronavirus signified a “fantastic milestone,” but cautioned that “we’re a long way from returning to normal.”

The medic said that his hospital only had about seven Covid-19 patients in the intensive care unit and that they were expected to recover. However, he expressed concern that there was still a large backlog for people seeking urgent medical care, including cancer treatment. The doctor said it was time to begin providing care to people with other ailments, while ensuring that there will be hospital space available in the event of a third wave of the virus.

The promising figure comes as the government begins to ease out of the nation’s third national lockdown, which began in early January. Two households or groups of up to six individuals will now be permitted to meet outside. Outdoor sports facilities have been given the green light to reopen as well. However, people are advised to continue to work from home and abstain from unnecessary travel. Outside dining and ‘non-essential’ shops and businesses are set to reopen on April 12 as part of the next phase in the government’s roadmap.