Thai king's medical condition improves
The medical condition of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, 81, has improved, the Royal Household Bureau announced Saturday.
A statement issued by the bureau to the press said the king's fever had subsided. He suffered a sore throat and slight fever since Wednesday, forcing him to cancel his annual birthday-eve speech and prompting doctors to put him on a liquid diet, dpa reported.
"A blood test on Wednesday showed evidence of infection, but found no trace of bacteria in blood or sputum samples," said an earlier statement by the royal bureau.
King Bhumibol's illness was cited as the reason for the world's longest-reigning monarch's failure to deliver his annual birthday-eve speech on Thursday.
Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn and Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn informed more than 22,000 government officials, bureaucrats, dignitaries and common people who had gathered at the Chitralada Palace Thursday night to hear the king's address of his cancellation of the much-awaited event, owing to a slight illness.
It was the first time the king had missed the annual event in decades.
His past speeches have touched on Thailand's political, social, cultural and development challenges, providing rare glimpses of the king's opinions on current events and trends.
As the head of Thailand's constitutional monarchy, King Bhumibol has few formal political powers but has amassed considerable moral authority over the past six decades of his rule.
He has dedicated much of his 62 years on the Thai thrown to development projects for the rural poor, although his active schedule has been slowed down by illnesses over the past decade.