BANGKOK – The Thai Royal Household on Wednesday canceled two official ceremonies, three days after it published a statement that said King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s condition was unstable.
Crown Prince Maha Vajiralonkorn, who returned from Germany on Wednesday, canceled his appearance at a graduation ceremony at the University of Chiang Mai in the north of the country, scheduled for Oct. 27 and Oct. 30, the Household said.
His sister, Princess Chulabhorn canceled two classes she was due to give on Thursday and Friday at the Royal Chitralada Palace in Bangkok.
The announcement coincided with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha’s decision to cut short a visit to Chonburi, east of Bangkok, and return to the capital due to an urgent matter, according to local press.
The Thai stock exchange plunged 6.8 percent at the start of the afternoon session, before rising to 1,365.36 points.
Dozens of Thai people gathered early in the afternoon to pray in front of the Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok, where the King has been admitted.
King Bhumibol, 88, has occupied the throne for 70 years and is the longest-serving monarch in the world.
Late Sunday, the Thai Royal Household reported that the monarch underwent hemodialysis treatment the previous day. During the process, there appeared to be a sharp drop in blood entering the heart’s left ventricle while his blood acidity increased.
Doctors termed his condition as “unstable” and recommended the suspension of all his royal duties.
King Bhumibol remains in the Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok, where he has been almost continuously since he was admitted a year ago.
Since then the Royal Household has issued 37 press releases on his health.
The last public appearance of the monarch was on Jan. 11, when he paid a visit to the Royal Chitralada Palace for a few hours.
King Bhumibol’s health condition is a taboo subject in the country due to the lèse-majesté laws that shields the Royal Family against all kinds of accusations and comments.
Bhumibol, on the throne since June 9, 1946, is the only King most Thais know and is revered as an almost divine being, a symbol of unity and guide of the nation.