The condition of veteran playback singer SP Balasubrahmanyam, who tested positive for the coronavirus on August 5, is critical and he has been put on life support, a health bulletin from the MGM Hospital in Chennai said on Friday.

He has been shifted to the intensive care unit and a team of experts is monitoring his condition, the bulletin added.

The 74-year-old singer has worked across Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Hindi and Malayalam film industries. On August 5, Balasubrahmanyam said that he decided to get himself tested as he was experiencing chest congestion and had an intermittent cold with fever.

In a Facebook message posted on August 5, the veteran singer announced that he had tested positive for Covid-19 but added that he was feeling “perfectly fine” and that he would be discharged in a couple of days. “They [the health officials] said it is a very mild case of coronavirus positive,” he said. “They said you can stay at home and self-quarantine and asked me to take some medications. But I didn’t want to do that with all my family members being very concerned for me. So, I got admitted to a hospital, my friends are here and taking good care of me.”

Balasubrahmanyam has won six National Film Awards for his work in the music industry. He has also been honoured with the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan. Since his singing debut in 1966 with the Telugu film Sri Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna, Balasubrahmanyam has recorded over 40,000 songs in 16 Indian languages.

Meanwhile, India on Friday reported 64,553 new cases in 24 hours, taking its tally to 24,61,190. The toll rose by 1,007 to 48,040.