BY MANISHA GANGULY AND CAROLINA HIDALGO

Several hundred people have been gathering outside Bangkok’s Siriraj hospital since yesterday, to pray for the King’s recovery, which remains uncertain. An official Royal announcement confirmed the rumors, indicating that the world’s longest reigning monarch’s health has “not yet stabilized”.

According to a statement released on Sunday, 88-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej, had been receiving hemodialysis treatment, used to cleanse the blood of toxins, extra salts and fluids. Today’s announcement is the first update on the King’s condition since then.

The Bangkok Post translated the royal Press release as follows:

“On August 31, 2016, [His Majesty the King’s] heartbeat was fast and he had very thick mucous. A test result of the mucous and blood indicated a severe infection,” the statement said.

An X-ray revealed His Majesty had fluid in his lungs, which a treatment helped to reduce, according to the bureau’s statement.

The monarch’s low blood pressure and a fever have since improved and his medical team is continuously watching the symptoms closely, the statement said.

Thai well wishers have begun gather outside the hospital, wearing pink to show their hope for the recovery of the king who has not been seen in public for months. Crowds of well-wishers have also assembled outside Bangkok’s Grand Palace where they have been signing well-wisher books and making flower to pay their respects to the king’s portrait. Many others are turning up at temples to pray for the ailing monarch.

Pasavit Bankixeddu Boonkongchuen, a Master Thai student, reacted, “As an academic, the event strikes fear in my heart. I am not a believer but the rest of my family worships and adores the king. The news upset them intensely. I’m just worried for them and for what the future might hold for the country in every aspect.”

Evie, a journalist, said, “I like the King but don’t know enough about him. A lot of the information we get is one-side and we hear only his good deed. Besides, talking ill of the king is to risk jail in Thailand.”

Another retired army official declined to comment when contacted, on grounds of superstition, stating that to talk of the impending death of the King might actually lead to him dying.

The monarch’s medical team are now “giving treatments carefully because the overall symptoms of his sickness are still not stable “

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