NHS worker Esther Egbon, 30, was found dead in Whalebone Lane South, Dagenham at 1pm on Saturday.
About two hours later the body of Igie Erabor, 36, who is understood to be Ms Egbon’s ex-partner, was found nearby in Gosfield Road. Both died from having their throats slashed, police said.
Ms Egbon worked at King George Hospital in Ilford and had been at the “forefront of the pandemic crisis” after her normal ward was converted to help treat Covid-19 patients.
Tony Chambers, chief executive at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We were shocked and saddened by the tragic death of Esther, a popular healthcare assistant at our trust.
“Esther was a much-loved member of the team on Foxglove ward at King George Hospital. She will be remembered for her kind and caring nature, that she was always smiling and was extremely hardworking.
|Our thoughts are with her family, especially her four young children, and friends at this difficult time.”
A family member has set up an online fundraising page to support her children, said to be aged between three and 10. It adds that Ms Egbon had been offered a university place to study nursing.
“Esther was bold and beautiful [and] refused to be scared of coronavirus,” the page says.
“She simply laughed it off and [said] she was stronger than Covid-19. Esther was so passionate and very much loved by people wherever she went.”
A Met police spokesman said: “No arrests have been made and at present no other parties are being sought. The investigation continues in order to establish the full circumstances.”
Witnesses described seeing two hooded gunmen fleeing the scene of a fatal shooting in West Kilburn. Armed police flooded the area and paramedics attended but the victim died in Hansel Road shortly after midnight yesterday.
A man whose flat looks onto the scene said he heard several gunshots. “I saw the two guys wearing hoodies and dressed in black.
“The final shot was after a while. I saw the flash. The two guys got into the car and there was a driver waiting.”
There have been no arrests.