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    Thais offer prayers for good health of their king

    (Updated )

    Hundreds of Thais wearing yellow and pink shirts have been flocking to Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok since yesterday, offering prayers and well-wishes to ailing 88-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

    The world's longest-reigning monarch has been receiving treatment at the hospital for several years.

    King Bhumibol who has been at the throne since 1946 is widely revered by the Thai people and has long been regarded as the unifying figure in the politically-divisive country.

    The Royal Household Bureau in its 38th statement late last night announced that the king's blood pressure had dropped again, while his pulse was faster and there were higher levels of acid in the blood.

    The royal doctors, it said, gave medication to control the blood pressure and acid in the blood.

    The statement said the treatment was done together with ventilator and Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy (CRRT), with the medical teams closely monitoring the king's condition.

    An officer with a state agency, Yada Singlampong, when met by Bernama at the hospital, said she rushed to Siriraj Hospital from her office after work to be close to the king.

    "Once I finised work at 4.30pm, my friend and I rode a motorbike straight here to give the king our moral support and wish him well," said the tearful Yada.

    'Everybody loves the king'

    She said her five-year-old son had always asked her why Thais cried for the king and she replied, it was because they held their revered monarch very close to their hearts.

    "Everybody loves the king," she said, adding that her son would understand her affection for the monarch when he grew older.

    Meanwhile, government spokesperson Lt-Gen Sansern Kaewkanmnerd, in a statement, urged the people not to panic and succumb to rumours about the King Bhumibol's health,especially in the social media.

    The king's health has become the top-trending topic among Thai social mediausers, with many of them wishing speedy recovery to their beloved monarch.

    The government also issued the statement to counter rumours alleging that Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha had cut short his state visit to Chonburi Province yesterday and rushed back to visit the king at the hospital.

    Sansern clarified that the prime minister had to cancel his remaining duty in the province to prepare for an audience with Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn about a report on the government's work.

    He also said that Prayut had no plan to issue any immediate statement.

    - Bernama

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