Anadolu Agency is here with a rundown of the latest developments in Turkey, around the world and the coronavirus pandemic.

– Developments in Turkey, coronavirus pandemic and other news

Turkey has administered more than 71.18 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines since it launched a mass vaccination campaign in January, according to figures released Thursday.

According to Health Ministry data, over 40.51 million people have gotten their first dose, while more than 26 million have received their second jabs as well.

The ministry also confirmed 22,161 new infections and 60 coronavirus-related deaths in the last 24 hours, while as many as 5,463 more patients recovered.

Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey attaches great importance to the development of economic, commercial, defense, tourism and investment cooperation with both Russia and Islamic countries on a win-win basis.

In a message read out at the Conscious Consumption session held at the 12th International Kazan Summit, of which Anadolu Agency is the global communications partner, Erdogan said that export and growth figures for the first quarter showed Turkey’s continued success in 2021.

“We will continue this momentum we have achieved in trade, investment, industry and logistics by using the windows of opportunity opened by the pandemic in the most effective way,” he said.

Turkey is battling wildfires that have broken out in 41 different areas recently, with 31 of them successfully brought under control so far.

The forest fires erupted over the last few days in the southern provinces of Mersin, Osmaniye, Adana, Antalya and Kahramanmaras.
Blazes also broke out in the southwestern province of Mugla and central provinces of Kirikkale and Kayseri.

The county’s efforts to bring 10 fires under control are continuing as 1,832 personnel, three planes, 29 helicopters and 458 water tenders are joining the mission.

Officials from Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Turkish Cyprus offered their condolences to Turkey on Thursday over the massive forest fires in its southern provinces which have claimed the lives of three people.

– COVID-19

Japan on Thursday recorded an all-time high of coronavirus cases since the outbreak began in December 2019, according to local media.

Over 10,000 cases were reported Thursday, including 3,865 in Tokyo – the main host city of the Olympics, Kyodo News reported.

The unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases comes at a time when Japan is hosting the world’s biggest games – the Olympics.

US President Joe Biden announced new measures his administration is taking to combat what he called the “pandemic of the unvaccinated” as the country continues to see rising coronavirus cases due in large part to a highly-transmissible variant.

Biden said the Delta variant has prompted US health authorities to advise him that cases will continue to climb before going down, describing it as an “American tragedy,” but said the spike would unlikely be joined by a comparable rise in hospitalizations and deaths because some 164 million Americans are fully vaccinated.

– Developments across the world

The US defense secretary during his visit to Vietnam on Thursday pledged support to the countries in Southeast Asia in their disputes with China.

In his meeting with Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Lloyd Austin drew attention to the US’s “strong bilateral partnership” with Vietnam and “emphasized that the United States supports a strong, independent and prosperous Vietnam.”

He also discussed a range of issues, including his country’s “commitment to help Vietnam battle COVID-19” with Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.

The US will provide Vietnam with 5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine along with additional COVID-19 support worth $20 million, Austin noted.

Meanwhile, Russia, the US, China and Pakistan, also known as the Troika Plus on Afghanistan, will meet next month in Qatar to discuss recent developments in the war-torn country, a Russian official said Thursday.

Apart from discussing the Afghan peace settlement in the Qatari capital Doha on Aug. 11, Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov told a news conference in Moscow that he also expects to get to know Yue Xiao Yong, the newly appointed Chinese Envoy for Afghanistan.

“A few days ago, a new special envoy for Afghanistan was appointed in Beijing, with whom I am still not acquainted. But I expect to see him in Doha on Aug. 11. We will continue in-depth consultations both in the bilateral format and in the expanded ‘troika’ and are ready for broader conversations with interested international players,” he said.

In sports news, Turkish female boxer Busenaz Surmeneli beat her opponent Friday to advance to the semi-finals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

The 23-year-old Surmeneli competed against Ukrainian athlete Anna Lysenko in the quarter-finals of the women’s 69 kilogram division at Kokugikan Arena.

Surmeneli also made history as she became the first Turkish athlete to be guaranteed an Olympic medal in women’s boxing.

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