An ambulance believed to be carrying one of the rescued boys from the flooded cave heads to the hospital in Chiang Rai as divers evacuated the remaining boys and their coach trapped at Tham Luang cave in the Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand, Tuesday.
This final mission aims to rescue the last remaining 4 members of the team, as well as their coach.
The Associated Press reports that the families of the boys "were being kept at a distance because of fears of infection and the emaciated-looking boys were eating a rice-based porridge because they were still too weak to take regular food, authorities said".
For healthy people, cave disease just causes a bit of a fever and a cough - but those with compromised immune systems may start coughing up blood and could die if it goes untreated and spreads through the body, he said.
"They are all in good spirits and happy to be out", Jedsada Chokdamrongsuk, permanent secretary of the public health ministry, told reporters. That won't happen or we'll give them hell.
He added: "They are some incredibly strong kids considering they have been through what can only be thought to be an absolute nightmare".
Doctors are taking no chances with their physical recovery, quarantining the group, administering tetanus and rabies shots, and putting two of the team on antibiotics after they showed signs of pneumonia.
Using meditation techniques learned in a monastery where he grew up from the age of 10, Mr Chanthawong is credited with keeping the boys calm through the nine-day ordeal as they waited for rescuers to reach them.
"On behalf of the operation unit, we want to send our condolences to him and I do have to thank him a lot", Thai mission commander Narongsak Osotthanakorn said at a news conference Wednesday.
The operation to rescue the last of the Thai football team trapped in a flooded cave could have ended in disaster, it has emerged.
The mission to rescue the 12 boys and their football coach, who had become trapped in a series of caves in Thailand, continues today. It ended with their fighting cheer, adopted from the U.S. Navy: "Hooyah!"
All preparations, including replacing the oxygen cylinders positioned along the route out in the cave, take at least 20 hours, he said.
In that mission, two divers accompanied each boy, guided by a rope.
Governor Narongsak Osottanakorn, who is leading the rescue mission, also warned today's operation could be more hard due to the increased number of people to be evacuated, but that he expected the "everyone will be out today". "But if the rain god doesn't help, then it could be challenging", Narongsak said.