Veteran singer SP Balasubrahmanyam’s son SP Charan said on Monday that his father has tested negative for the coronavirus. However, he added, in an Instagram post, that his father was still on ventilator in hospital.

“We were expecting dad’s lungs to improve as they were to a certain point, where we could remove the ventilator,” Charan said. “Unfortunately, they are still not at that point where we could rid him of the ventilator. But the good news is that dad is Covid negative.” He said Balasubrahmanyam’s lungs were healing slowly.

Charan said his father was writing and communicating a lot, and was “very clear and bright”.

On August 24, Charan had said his father was still on ventilator and dismissed rumours that he had tested negative. “Regardless of whether he is negative or positive [for the coronavirus], the status is still the same clinically,” Charan had said. “He is still on life support. He is stable, fortunately. So please refrain from rumor-mongering. I will put up a post in the evening after I have a discussion with the doctors.”

Balasubrahmanyam was admitted to MGM Healthcare in Chennai on August 5 after he tested positive for Covid-19. He had shared the news of contracting the infection in a video message on Facebook. He said he got himself tested after experiencing chest congestion along with cold and fever. His condition deteriorated by August 14 and he was put on life support.

From actor Rajinikanth to Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief MK Stalin, several leaders and personalities have wished Balasubrahmanyam a speedy recovery.

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.