Thai soccer players freed from cave

Public Health Minister Dr. Piyasakol Sakolsattayatorn, who led the news conference at Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital, said all 13 — the dozen boys, who range in age from 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach — were expected to be discharged from the hospital on Thursday.

"All of the 13 people, their physical bodies are strong, and fit. Regarding infections, through the medical evaluations in the first days there may be some of them that had minor pneumonia, but now all is cleared, no fever," Piyasakol said. Several were also reported earlier to be recovering from minor lung and middle ear infections.

Most of the boys, who were shown in their hospital beds, looked relaxed, and began their brief statements with a “wai,” the traditional Thai greeting of hands raised to chest level with palms together.

A few also gave the two-finger victory sign and raised a fist. One of the 14-year-olds, Ekarat Wongsukchan, whose nickname is Biw, playfully raised his two arms in a boxer’s victory stance as laughter was heard in the background.

A hospital statement said that as the boys continue to recover, they remain susceptible to infectious disease. To avoid mental stress, they should spend at least the next month only with family and friends, avoiding media encounters that might trigger post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, the statement said.

In the area in northern Thailand around the cave, more than 4,000 volunteers were reported to have taken part Saturday in trying to restore the landscape, which was damaged by the massive rescue effort that included the flooding and clearing of land and the use of heavy machinery.

Charitable Foundation Winston Churchill regards all volunteers and volunteers who participated in the rescue of the football team from the Thai cave. Donate

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