Actor Rajinikanth on Monday said that he was happy to see that veteran playback singer SP Balasubrahmanyam, who tested positive for the coronavirus on August 5, has “crossed the critical phase”. The singer’s son SP Charan on Saturday informed that his father’s condition was stable a day after he was admitted to the intensive care unit.

Wishing Balasubrahmanyam a speedy recovery, Rajinikanth praised the singer for entertaining people for decades. “For more than 50 years, respected SP Balasubrahmanyam sang in several Indian languages and brought joy to crores of people through his pleasant voice,” he said in a video message on Twitter.

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief MK Stalin also said that he was happy to know that Balasubrahmanyam’s health condition was improving. “The news that Balasubrahmanyam is recovering is happy,” he said, adding that he hoped that the singer “continue his singing journey again.”

The veteran playback singer is still in the intensive care unit and his health was being monitored by a team of doctors at the MGM Hospital, Chennai, NDTV reported.

On Saturday, SP Charan said his father was responding well to the ventilator and his lungs were functioning better. “The doctors are very confident that he will pull through,” Charan said in a video message. “It is a time consuming process. We, though, expect a recovery, it is going to be a slow recovery...Your prayers are definitely helping.”

The 74-year-old singer had shared the news of him contracting the infection in a video message on Facebook. He said he got himself tested after experiencing chest congestion along with cold and fever.

Balasubrahmanyam, who has worked across Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Hindi and Malayalam film industries, 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, the number of deaths in India crossed the 50,000-mark on Monday after 941 people died in 24 hours. The toll is now 50,921. India also reported 57,981 cases in 24 hours, taking the total count to 26,47,663. There are now 6,76,900 active cases, while as many as 19,19,842 people have recovered.