Victorian woman first Australian virus death in month

Daniel McCullochAAP
VideoVictoria recorded no new cases of coronavirus but one person died after previously being cleared of COVID-19

Australia has recorded its first coronavirus death in more than a month as health authorities overhaul contact tracing technologies and the country welcomes back international students.

A Victorian woman aged in her seventies has died from coronavirus, taking the national death toll to 908.

The woman was a previously-cleared case who died from complications relating to her original diagnosis.

"She was part of a small group of cases diagnosed in late July," the state's health department said on Monday.

"She was cleared as an active case in late September. In line with the national case definition, this is a COVID-related death as no recovery occurred from time of infection."

The most recent Australian virus fatalities were two Victorians on October 28.

Australia's coronavirus tracing app is set to receive a major upgrade to better identify close contacts after coming under fire for its track record.

Federal officials revealed last month the app had identified just 17 people not picked up through manual contact tracing methods.

The overhaul will incorporate a new Bluetooth protocol to improve performance and better identify potential contacts.

Meanwhile, Australia has accepted its first flight of international students in many months.

More than 60 international students arrived in Darwin as part of a pilot program to bring more back to Australia.

The students, who are all enrolled at Charles Darwin University, will quarantine for two weeks at Howard Springs before they can return to class.

Critics of the charter flight have pointed out more than 30,000 Australians stranded overseas are desperate to come home in time for Christmas.

But their returns have been delayed by weekly caps on incoming international passengers, which have been imposed to ease pressure on hotel quarantine systems across the states and territories.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has previously declared arrivals would be based on an "Australia first" policy that preferenced returning citizens over international students.

But universities and colleges battered by the coronavirus pandemic have been crying out for solutions.

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