Chiang Rai (Thailand), July 11 (IANS) A Thai medical team said on Wednesday that the 12 boys and their coach rescued from a cave in northern Thailand have lost approximately two kg of weight each after spending more than two weeks trapped underground.
The team, however, said the weight loss doesn’t pose a risk to their lives, Efe news reported.
Some of the children have pneumonia, but none of them has serious health problems, a member of the medical team at the provincial hospital of Chiang Rai responsible for assessing the health of the group said at a press conference.
The rescue operations culminated on Tuesday when the last four children and the coach were successfully taken out of the cave.
The last five members of the “Wild Boars” youth soccer team arrived at the hospital on Tuesday night with symptoms of hypothermia as a result of the harsh condition they faced during the 18 days they were inside the cave and the cold temperature of the water.
Members of the group were taken out of the cave in three batches between July 8-10.
The families of the first four boys rescued from the cave were allowed to visit their children, although with precautionary measures since the boys’ immune system had become week.
The second group of rescued boys will be able to reunite with their relatives on Wednesday, while the third group will remain at least one more day in quarantine.
The “Wild Boars” were provided a soft diet of rice and chicken, in addition to several vitamin supplements.
The boys and the coach, all in good spirits, will spend at least seven days in the medical centre before being discharged.
The 12 boys, aged between 11 and 16 years, and their coach, 25, went into the cave after a soccer training, but a heavy rainstorm flooded the cave and blocked their way out, trapping them inside.
The mother of one of boys gave the alert after realizing that her son had not returned home. It was only nine days later that all of the soccer team was found, hungry and weak, four km away from the cave’s main entrance.
The group had to learn scuba diving in less than a week in order to leave the cave, but the rescue task became even more challenging as many did not know how to swim.
Amid narrow tunnels and zero visibility, two divers — one in front and one behind — accompanied each boy through the maze of the partially flooded passages.
The difficulty of the operation resulted in the death of a volunteer on Thursday, a former member of the Thai Navy SEAL, when he ran out of air during a dive.