SP Balasubrahmanyam continues to be critical, on ventilator support in ICU

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Popular singer S P Balasubrahmanyam continues to be critical and is on ventilator and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support (ECMO), a heart- lung assistance machine, the hospital treating him said here on Wednesday.

Noted film director Bharathiraja gave a call for a mass prayer by the cinema industry on Thursday for recovery of the 74-year old playback singer, battling COVID-19.

"Thiru S P Balasubrahmanyam who had been admitted at MGM Healthcare due to COVID-19 continues to be critical and is on ventilator and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support in the Intensive Care Unit. "The expert medical team treating him is closely monitoring his vital parameters which are satisfactory at this point of time," Assistant Director (Medical Services), Dr Anuradha Baskaran said in a statement.

The popular playback singer was admitted to the hospital on August 5 after he tested positive for coronavirus and suffered a setback days later, prompting doctors to put him on life support.

Meanwhile, veteran Tamil film director and a long time friend of the singer, Bharathirajaa said the entire film fraternity would observe a one minute silent prayer at 6 pm on Thursday and then play a song sung by Balasubrahmanyam praying for his speedy recovery. "Let''s all pray to mother nature to give SPB to us," he said in a statement. Music directors Ilayaraja, A R Rahman, actors Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan and others,lyricist Vairamuthu, directors, musicians, members of Film Employees Federation of South India, producers, theatre-owners, distributors besides billions of SPB fans across the globe would sing SPB songs at their respective places and pray for his recovery, he said.

"I invite everyone to be part of the mass prayer," he said and recalled that when M G Ramachandran, the then Chief Minister was hospitalised in the 1980''s a similar prayer was held and the leader recovered. "Similarly we will pray for the recovery of SPB now. Let''s join irrespective of caste, language or creed for SPB. His voice should be heard again. Let''s come together and pray," the veteran director said.

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