Hundreds of people gathered today in front of the Sriraj Hospital in Bangkok, to join other innumerable tens of thousands across Thailand in their prayers for the health of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who is still in unstable condition in the hospital. The King has been put through hemodialysis treatment, which is used to purify the blood, but the palace said that the treatment had made his blood pressure drop occasionally, and he has still to stabilise.
According to the team of medics who supervised the King’s treatment, his blood pressure was getting low again, his pulse faster, with increasing acid level in his blood. The official statement said the blood test revealed that there was also some infection and abnormal functioning of his liver.
Among those gathered outside the hospital in Bangkok was Srikaew Attanasa, a 48 years-old housekeeping manager.
“Thai people worship him like a god. He is like a god to me. I always feel grateful to be in his country. I come here to at least see the building where he lives. That’s good enough for me.”
Another Thai, Ms. Suwanna Kaennamtiew, 62, of Bangkok, was wearing pink clothes like hundreds others, and had a badge on her shirt, reading “Love Father”. She told New York Times reporters that all she wanted was to see the King in better health.
“The king is a father of the entire Thai people. We are living under his virtue. We love him very much. Nothing can compare to him. I wish I could sacrifice my life for his majesty. I can endure pain for his majesty. If I could die so he could live, that’s what I would do.” said Ms. Suwanna.
“We come here to pray and meditate, because we think, with a lot of people here together, it will send out good vibrations to the King,” said another Thai, Kay Santi from Bangkok.
The situation determined Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-Cha to return to Bangkok from Chonburi province, where he was on official business.
“The prime minister did not undertake his official duties in Chonburi province today in order to prepare for an audience with His Royal Highness the Crown Prince for a routine presentation on the government’s work in progress,” said government spokesperson Lt. Gen. Sansern Kaewkamnerd.
In an official statement, the prime minister asked Thai people to rely on official announcements for an update on situations, rather than uncorroborated information in social media circles.
King Bhumibol, aged 88, is one of the longest reigning kings of all times in the world and is extremely revered in the Kingdom, by people of all conditions and social rank. His Majesty is considered an unifying figure in the country, is highly revered and admired in Thailand and abroad.