Encephalitis toll 664


The death toll from an outbreak of Japanese encephalitis in northern India rose to 664 on Monday with 18 more deaths as doctors appealed for more ventilators to save the lives of young patients. As many as 67 new cases were admitted to hospitals overnight, said Vijay Shankar Nigam, spokesman for the Communicable Diseases Control Room of northern Uttar Pradesh state. “The maximum deaths are from Gorakhpur,” Nigam said, referring to the worst-hit district 250 km southeast of the state capital Lucknow. — AFP

Gas leak affects 300


More than 300 workers at a chicken factory in northeastern Thailand became ill - including more than 100 who were in serious condition - after inhaling ammonia from a leaking freezer on Monday, officials said. The workers were treated after they started vomiting, fainting and experiencing chest pain, according to hospital officials. — AP

Conjoined twins


Doctors at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital are considering the separation of conjoined twins Saba and Farah, both 10, who are joined at the head. This operation has never been performed in the a South Asian nation. Doctors at a Singapore hospital who successfully carried out a similar surgery on Nepali twins four years ago are also being consulted, said neurologist Mukul Verma, who is examining the girls. — AP

22 m kids vaccinated


Indonesia said on Monday it had vaccinated more than 22 million children against polio during a massive inoculation drive amid fears the disease could spread regionally. Initial data as of Saturday showed that 22,091,039 children were vaccinated, said Health Minister Siti Fadillah Supari. — AFP

BSF moved out of J-K


India has pulled out all of its paramilitary soldiers deployed in Kashmir’s main city, Srinagar, replacing them with armed police, a senior security official said on Monday. Some 9,000 soldiers of the Border Security Force have been withdrawn from Srinagar and replaced with men from the Central Reserve Police Force, Inspector General of BSF JP Negi told reporters. — AP

LTTE charged afresh


Sri Lanka’s Defence Ministry has accused the Tamil Tiger rebels of 113 attacks that killed 11 security force personnel and 20 civilians in the past two months, as the fragile government-Tiger ceasefire comes under increasing strain. In the latest assault, suspected Tamil Tiger rebels attacked a police post with hand grenades last night, seriously wounding an officer and two civilians near Trincomalee. — AP