Veteran Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee’s health condition deteriorated to “very critical” on Sunday, PTI reported.
He was admitted to a private hospital in Kolkata on October 6 after he tested positive for the coronavirus. While doctors were optimistic about his recovery last week, they are now considering putting him on invasive devices to support his airway. The 85-year-old actor is not responding to treatment and his platelet count has dropped, doctors said.
The actor may also need to undergo a procedure called plasmapheresis, where a person’s blood plasma is filtered out or treated and exchanged, NDTV reported. Neurologists and nephrologists are expected to decide on Monday.
“We will again sit with the family because they have been primed and they have primarily agreed for it,” Arindam Kar, the doctor who is leading Chatterjee’s team, told NDTV. “We will take a call on two major issues, one is invasive airway support to sustain things and plasmapheresis.”
He added: “You all know he is not keeping well. His consciousness, despite all our efforts, is not improving. Rather it has gone down.”
The actor was moved to the ICU on October 9 after he developed complications. Last week, after he tested negative for the coronavirus, he was moved to a non-Covid ICU. “On the 20th day of hospitalisation and 17th day of ICU care, the consciousness of the octogenarian is not improving despite all our efforts. Rather it has gone down,” a hospital spokesperson said, according to PTI. “His platelet count is little on lower side and his haemoglobin has gone down. We have begun transfusion, we are correcting the platelet count. We are trying definitive therapy to end Covid encephalopathy which is the crux of matter.”
“His organs like lungs and heart are working well and his blood pressure is normal but his consciousness is a cause of concern,” the spokesperson added.
In a career spanning almost six decades, Chatterjee has acted in more than 200 films. He debuted with Ray’s Apur Sansar (1959) and went on to work with the director in 14 films, including Charulata (1964), Aranyer Din Ratri (1969) and Sonar Kella (1974). His other notable works include Akash Kusum (1965), Kshudhita Pashan (1960), Jhinder Bandi (1961), Parineeta (1969), Sansar Simante (1975) and Ganadevata (1978).
Chatterjee has received the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India as well as the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, India’s highest award in cinema. He has also been given the Commandeur de l’ Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France’s highest award for artiste, and the Legion of Honour, France’s highest civilian award.