Update on Chile miners' health

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LISA MULLINS: I'm Lisa Mullins and this is the World. The 33 miners rescued in Chile yesterday spent their first day on the surface under medical observation. But doctors at the hospital where the group is being monitored say the miners are in remarkably good health, considering they spent 69 days trapped deep underground. Concerns remain though about the men's health. The BBC's Vanessa Buschschluter is at the hospital in Copiapo. So, how, Vanessa, are the miners doing?

VANESSA BUSCHSCHLUTER: They're doing much better than anyone could have hoped. You saw the pictures, probably when number two, Mario Sepulveda, came out, he was punching the air, he was jumping around. I mean nobody could've imagined that. They have now been assessed medically. There's still tests going on, but the first reports from the doctors were that they're actually better than they first thought, even when they came out and went to triage center. There's one of the miners who has got pneumonia, but even he is not as in such a bad state as they originally thought he might be. So, he's stable. All of the others are actually not in an intensive care unit. They're actually in the location where the intensive care unit is, but that's just because they've run out of beds in the normal hospital area, so they told us that doesn't mean that they are actually in need of intensive card, they're just there because otherwise there wouldn't be enough beds.

MULLINS: Are the families with them at the hospital?

BUSCHSCHLUTER: Yes, they are. There are certain visiting hours, but they've actually already relaxed them because quite a few of the relatives have travelled a long way up to Copiapo. Not all of the miners are from this mining region. Many travel a long way to get jobs here because they're more lucrative. So for those families they've already relaxed those visiting hours. And sometimes when I look up I can see one of the little girls [INDISCERNIBLE], it's too far away for me to tell who she is related to, but there's a little girl standing sometimes at the window with a Chilean flag waving to the many journalists gathered outside.

MULLINS: And in terms of the care themselves, do they still have to wear the wraparound sunglasses to protect their eyes? Do they have to take any other special precautions right now?

BUSCHSCHLUTER: We were told this morning they don't have to wear the sunglasses, that many of them just do it for comfort because after being underground for so long, they just don't like this bright sunlight. And I can tell you it is very, very bright here. But I think they also quite like the sunglasses. They were given these by an American firm and they are quite trendy looking, so I think they just enjoy to have their picture taken with them as well.

MULLINS: Well, who wouldn't. They look darn good in them. I wonder about other concerns though. Obviously, there've been concerns all along for the miner's mental health. What are you being told about that if anything?

BUSCHSCHLUTER: Well, at the moment the psychologist in charge, Alberto Iturra, is still assessing them. He says that will take �till Sunday. It's going to be something that is an ongoing process. This is not something that they can just do in the first two days and then say these guys are alright and we let them go. They will be treated for six months, but it's up to them to say what exactly they want. This is not going to be forced upon them. This is something that is at their disposal, but they want the miners themselves to call the psychologist and for them to take the initiative because after so long underground where they've actually been dependent on people sending them down everything and everything was so controlled, their diet, their exercise, they want them to have a sense of control over the lives and this is part of it, that going to a psychologist comes from them and isn't imposed on them.

MULLINS: Oh, but I wonder at the same time if this is a culture where psychiatric care is the norm?

BUSCHSCHLUTER: Well, it isn't really. But I think the families have also been briefed along these two months that they were at Camp Hope and many of the relatives themselves said to me, they want their husbands, their fathers, their sons, to take this opportunity and talk about this. Because they know that this is going to be crucial and Maria Segovia, who became the unofficial mayoress of the camp said she also wants to build this kind of shrine at Camp Hope. She doesn't just want the whole camp to be dismantled. She wants the flags to still be there and maybe have a kind of anniversary every year or six monthly where the families and the men themselves can gather there and share their experience. She thinks it's very important that these men can talk about what happened to them amongst themselves because in the end nobody else has been through such an ordeal

MULLINS: Alright, thanks so much. Vanessa Buschschluter speaking to us from the hospital where the miners are being treated right now in Copiapo, Chile.

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