A child infected with Covid-19 has died.
In the latest update from the Ministry of Health, officials said in a statement a child between the age of zero and nine has died while infected with Covid.
The tragic death marks the youngest person to die while infected with the virus.
There have now been 49 people who have died since Covid-19 arrived on our shores last year.
Earlier today, it was revealed a person died after testing positive for Covid-19 in a managed isolation facility a month ago. They were included in New Zealand's official outbreak death toll.
That person died at Auckland's Crowne Plaza Hotel within days of arriving in New Zealand on November 3 has now had their death added to the grim tally this week, Ministry of Health confirmed this morning.
It's not yet clear whether the child's death was caused by Covid-19 or another health condition.
The death was not recorded in today's Covid announcement but figures on the Ministry of Health website show, as of Friday, there is one death between the age 0 and 9.
Dr Matire Harwood of the Papakura Marae Health Clinic said the death was "tragic and sobering".
"Although people have been saying Covid is mild, for children with asthma and other respiratory conditions it can be really severe and we know our Māori and Pacific have higher rates of those conditions."
She said it was critical that we do all we can to prevent children getting the virus.
"The vaccine is the best tool and the sooner we get that into all communities and before school starts the better.
"It reiterates the importance for all adults and caregivers of children, including teachers, ECE, and ko matua to get vaccinated.
"Te aroha to the whanau, that is tragic."