Thailand cave rescue: Why the boys are being kept in isolation

Sakchai Lalit  AP

The first four boys to be rescued are aged 14 to 16, and two of them possibly have a lung infection - all are expected to stay in hospital for at least seven days.

"The kids are footballers, are strong and have high immunity", Jesada said when asked why they survived so long.

The boys are being monitored in the hospital for illnesses and other health issues from being stuck in the cave for two weeks. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha was visiting all eight in the nearby hospital that they were helicoptered to, he said.

The billionaire entrepreneur has been tweeting proposals and offering his services to the Thai government in its efforts to extract the 12 boys and their soccer coach from a partially flooded cave.

The rescuers have been learning from experience and were two hours faster in bringing the second batch of survivors out on Monday.

But with oxygen levels inside dropping to unsafe lows and the prospect of heavy rains flooding the area completely, authorities decided they had to move quickly, and take the group out through the water-filled tunnels.

A stretcher which is believed to be carrying a boy rescued from the Tham Luang cave is moved from an ambulance in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand, in this photo taken by Kyodo July 9, 2018.

Writing in elegant Thai script, the boys urged their parents not to worry, adding that they hoped they wouldn't get too much homework after being rescued and couldn't wait to eat their favourite foods again.

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The first four boys have been allowed to see their families through a glass window as doctors continue to conduct thorough health checks and monitor the boys for any contagious diseases.

The boys' first words after being freed from the cave was that they miss their homes and are glad.

"I want to go play with them. take him to some restaurants and spend time together".

The president of soccer's governing body, FIFA, has invited the boys to the World Cup final in Moscow on Sunday if they make it out in time. This seems less likely now given the need for the boys to undergo further tests.

They were trapped in the Tham Luan Nang Non cave that became flooded by monsoon rains while they were exploring it after a soccer practice on June 23. Other divers were on guard along the risky first kilometer of the passageway.

Officials are constantly pumping water out of the caves, and Sunday gave the rescue crews the best chance of recovering more survivors after days of decent weather and pumping reduced flood levels.

A spokesman for Musk's Boring Co tunnelling unit, which has four engineers at the cave, said Thai officials had requested the device.

"Mini-sub arriving in about 17 hours", he wrote.

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