The pair, who lived together and worked at the Queen Elizabeth in Woolwich, had been determined to continue through the pandemic. They were rushed to the hospital within hours of each other two weeks ago.
Mother-of-two Esther Akinsanya, 55, died four days later on April 15. Her sister Mary Idowu, 61, is on a ventilator in intensive care. Ms Akinsanya, a “devoted and diligent” NHS nurse for more than 20 years, had finished her last shift two days before being admitted.
Her son Samuel, 26, who lived with his mother and aunt in Thamesmead, said: “We are heartbroken. My mother lit up a room when she walked in, it was impossible not to like her.”
It is understood the sisters had been issued with personal protective equipment in line with government guidelines for those not working in intensive care units. However, there have been calls for the level of protection for staff on general wards to be raised. The Government has said the outbreak has so far killed 69 NHS workers and 15 care workers, but there are fears the total of health worker deaths is more than 100.