India, free doses of anti-covid vaccine to mark Independence celebrations
Today's headlines: in Sri Lanka, protesters hand back occupied buildings to the government; dysentery cases are on the rise in Afghanistan; dengue cases have more than doubled since last year in Vietnam; Shnaghai issues a heat wave warning; an airport in the shape of an Islamic crescent is to be built in Groznyj.
Starting this week, India will provide free doses of anti-covid vaccine for 75 days. According to a local official, the measure was taken to mark the 75th anniversary of the country's independence, which will be celebrated on 15 August. Until now, vaccination was only free for the over-60s and health workers. 92 per cent of the Indian population has not yet had the booster.
Sri Lankan media reports President Gotabaya Rajapaksa did not take a flight to Singapore after arriving in the Maldives. Earlier Reuters had reported that Rajapaksa would fly to Singapore and from there send his resignation letter, which has not yet been received by the Speaker. This morning the protesters decided to return the occupied buildings to the government.
Rising temperatures combined with a lack of adequate sanitation facilities are causing an increase in dysentery cases in several provinces of Afghanistan. More than 100 patients arrive at the hospital in Kabul every day, doctors said. In Helmand province alone, 15 people have died so far.
Dengue cases in Vietnam have more than doubled compared to last year, the Minister of Health has announced. The country recorded 89,120 new cases in the first six months of 2022, up from 35,936 the previous year. 'It is expected that the number of cases will continue to rise further, with more severe cases requiring hospitalisation,' the ministry said.
Cambodian authorities arrested 11 Chinese nationals on suspicion of illegal drug trafficking. Police seized two tonnes of ketamine in three different provinces and in the capital Phnom Penh. On the occasion of the National Day for Combating Drugs on 26 June, Cambodian Interior Minister Sar Kheng said that the police had seized more than 10,000 tonnes of drugs in 2021, of which only 6,000 were destroyed.
For the third time this year, Shanghai has issued a warning predicting a new heat wave: in the next 24 hours, the city of 25 million inhabitants is expected to reach 40 degrees. Shanghai has issued 17 such warnings since 1873. Due to the use of air conditioning, the load on the power grid has reached its maximum.
RUSSIA - NORTH KOREA
North Korea's ambassador to Russia, Sin Hon Chol, handed over to Donetsk ambassador Olga Makeeva the document by which the Pyongyang government officially recognises the separatist republic of Donbass.
In Groznyj, the capital of the Russian republic of Chechnya, construction has begun on a new international airport, the shape of which will be modelled on the Islamic crescent, as President Ramzan Kadyrov himself triumphantly announced, and will be named after his father Akhmat, the historic president who put an end to the conflicts of the 1990s.