The 90-year-old tested positive to Covid and was later shifted to Apollo Gleneagles Hospital after she was diagnosed with a cardiac issue, other than a lung infection. A medical team has been formed at Apollo for her treatment.
On Tuesday, Mukhopadhyay had refused an offer to receive the Padma Shri. The Centre’s decision to confer the award was privately shared with Mukherjee on Tuesday evening, hours before the official list was declared at night. But this came as a rude shock to the veteran artist. Much like Hemanta Kumar, with whom she had recorded a number of duets, Mukherjee too turned down the offer. She was then recovering from a fall in the washroom.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee visited SSKM on Thursday afternoon and said the singer will be moved to Apollo so that she gets ‘the best possible treatment’.
“She has developed a cardiac problem along with Covid. We could have moved her to Shambhunath Pandit Hospital and her family was agreeable to that. But since her condition remains serious, we felt it would be better to move her to Apollo,” said Banerjee, adding that Mukhopadhyay was a ‘legend and a Bharat Ratna’. At SSKM, the singer was admitted at the Woodburn ward.
“She is a national pride. Let us pray for her recovery,” said Mamata.
Mukhopadhyay was taken to Apollo via another green corridor. According to her family, both her lungs are infected and she had fever on Tuesday evening. A few days ago, she suffered a fall in the bathroom and has been ill ever since.
“I am not keeping well,” she had told TOI on Tuesday evening. “Someone called me up from Delhi, hours before the official awards were to be made public and broke the news to me. This is so insulting. All my life, I have never run after awards. I have rejected the Padma Shri. The love of my listeners is my greatest award,” she said.
Her family members are equally miffed. Daughter Soumi Sengupta said the award came too late. “She is the senior most artist in Bengal now. Everyone knows that she has never gone after awards. She has not been keeping well. Frankly speaking, conferring a Padma Shri is nothing short of an insult,” Sengupta said.