Coronavirus: Young boy who died with COVID-19 was not a known case prior to his death

A young child who died with COVID-19 in New Zealand this week was not a known case prior to their death, the Ministry of Health says.

The ministry's case demographic website was updated on Friday afternoon to show a single death in the 0 to 9 age bracket. The website listed the child as a Māori boy registered with Counties Manukau DHB.

He is the youngest person to die with COVID-19 in New Zealand.

In a statement on Friday evening, the Ministry of Health revealed the child's COVID-19 infection was only discovered after they died.

"The child was a contact of an identified case but was not a known COVID-19 case before the time of death," they said.

"The death remains under investigation and has been referred to the coroner. For privacy reasons, and out of respect for the family, no further information will be provided at this time."

The ministry said a person may be tested for COVID-19 posthumously if their cause of death is not clear.

"Even where persons are deceased, privacy considerations remain relating to the disclosure of information about recently deceased persons."

The ministry expressed "its heartfelt sympathies to the family of the child at this incredibly difficult time".