Thai King continues to recover in hospital, palace says

Thai King continues to recover in hospital, palace says

BANGKOK - Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world's longest-reigning monarch, continues to recover in hospital following surgery to remove his gallbladder and treatment for an intestinal infection, the palace said in a statement on Monday.

The health of the king, who is 87 and has been in hospital for over two months, is a subject of keen public concern. He is regarded as almost divine by many Thais and is widely seen as a unifying figure through years of political unrest.

A team of doctors reported after examinations on Monday that the king's condition was improving. The monarch is eating more and sleeping well, the palace said in the statement on Monday.

The king last appeared in public in November, and cancelled a public appearance on his birthday on Dec. 5 on the advice of doctors. That fuelled renewed concern over his health, although doctors said soon afterwards the king's condition was not serious and he was recovering.

Bhumibol was admitted to Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok on Oct. 3 removal of his gallbladder and was treated for his swollen intestines in early November.

Bhumibol, a constitutional monarch, made several interventions in the 1970s and 1990s to call for calm during political upheaval. He was silent during the latest crisis, which began in November and culminated in an army coup in May.

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