"We continue to fully support the multinational rescue effort and pray for the safe return of the remaining members of the team", Manning said.
He told reporters the four rescued boys were taken to the hospital in the town of Chiang Rai, the provincial capital, for evaluation.
The urgent and unsafe effort has involved the boys diving through the cave's tight and twisting passages, guided by experienced divers. It could take two to four days complete the mission, officials said.
The death Friday of a former Thai navy SEAL, Saman Gunan, underscored the risks. He added that the rescue mission today was the "best situation".
He said recent rains had not affected water levels in the cave and conditions were expected to be "as good as they were on Sunday", reported The Guardian.
Yesterday afternoon public health inspector Dr Thongchai Lertwilairattanapong said the parents of the latest foursome would be allowed to see their children in the evening but added: 'Visitors will only be allowed to meet and talk to the patients but no hugging or touching - and they need to leave a one to two-metre distance'.
"In terms of re-feeding and the regaining of strength, there's only a certain amount of energy that you can re-accumulate, and it doesn't happen in just a couple of days", Auerbach said.
People across Thailand cheered the rescue operation, including at the Mae Sai Prasitsart school where six of the trapped boys are students.
Officials last week said they would bring the fittest people in the group out first, but Narongsak later said that whoever was ready first would be escorted out.
Since it is rainy season, you can expect nearly everyday you will get some type of rain. "They'll avoid certain circumstances".
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There had been efforts to pump the water out but those were set back every time it rained.
At some point, there was talk of leaving of the boys in the cave throughout the rainy season, Tracy said. The search and rescue operation has involved dozens of worldwide experts and rescuers, including a USA military team.
The names of the rescued boys were not released. The second operation started at 11 a.m. local time Monday (midnight ET). It takes several hours. However, they got trapped inside after heavy rains flooded the entrance of the cave.
Chiang Rai governor and operation chief Narongsak Osottanakorn confirmed at a press conference Sunday that he had met the boys and they were in "perfect" health.
All preparations, including replacing the oxygen cylinders positioned along the route out in the cave, take at least 20 hours, he said.
Four of the boys' teammates and Thai dive experts were flown to the same hospital for treatment the day before. They have not been reunited with their families yet due to infection concerns.
This is a developing story and will be updated as new information comes in.
Adesman said that PTSD is an issue for protracted trauma, and he's optimistic the worst is behind the boys trapped in the cave.
"If I ask too much, he might not provide it".