Rescue of Thai boys tempered by health concerns

Posted July 10, 2018

On Tuesday, Thongchai Lertwilairattanapong, a Thai health department official, told the news site Kom Chad Luek there would be "no hugging or touching" until blood tests proved the boys were free of infections.

The second evacuation attempt started at 11 a.m. local time (midnight ET) after rescue workers got some rest and refilled supplies.

"So, it's not so much how they'll be feeling in the immediate aftermath - we would expect to see some strong reactions - or not - it depends upon many factors I don't know about".

Ultimately, however, there are so many unknowns, and it's hard to predict what pathogens, if any, the boys have been exposed to, Adalja said.

For the final operation tomorrow, Mr Narongsak said the rescuers would use the same plan with some adjustments because the number of survivors to be extracted would be five instead of four as was the case for the last two days.

The urgent and unsafe effort has involved the boys diving through the cave's tight and twisting passages, guided by experienced divers.

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Candle-light vigils have been held in Thailand and parts of Asia, as the world watches on to find out the fate of the four remaining boys and their coach.

The photo, posted on the Thai Navy SEAL page on Sunday, and has received over 60,000 shares.

Divers from Thailand and overseas, including the United States, China, Europe, and Australia have helped retrieve the boys, who are between the ages of 11-16.

The unsafe bid to rescue the boys - aged between 11 and 16 - got going again hours earlier on Monday after a break to replenish oxygen supplies and make other preparations deep inside the cave complex in northern Thailand's Chiang Rai province.

"This morning they said they were hungry and wanted to eat khao pad grapao", he said, referring to a Thai dish of meat fried with chili and basil and served over rice. Doctors and nurses at a triage camp set up just inside the mouth of the cave gave the boys quick physicals before they were sent to the hospital in Chiang Rai. "When they're deprived of light and their comfort issues from home, there can be psychological sequelae that have to be addressed, and we've seen that before with people who have been held hostage or in kind of hard environmental situations", Ashton said, using a medical term for the after-effects of a traumatic incident.

The 12 young footballers and their coach became trapped in the Thiam Luang cave two weeks ago due to rising water after they entered the cave made it impossible for them to escape.

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Thai soldiers walk out from the Tham Luang cave area as operations continue on July 9, 2018.

Four boys were successfully rescued on Sunday during a gruelling eight-hour rescue operation.

But after the first 4 emerged late on Sunday afternoon, hopes began to rise of a fairytale ending to the ordeal.

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha arrived in Chiang Rai and visited the eight rescued boys in the hospital Monday night, according to Osatanakorn.

Monday's mission involved 18 divers from Thailand and overseas.

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