J Jayalalithaa in respiratory support, more experts arrive as followers in frenzied prayers

Jayalalithaa was admitted to Apollo Hospitals in Chennai on 22 September after she complained of fever and dehydration.

India: Uncertainty prevails over Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa's health
J. Jayalalithaa, chief minister of India's Tamil Nadu state and chief of Anna Dravida Munetra Khazhgam (AIADMK), gestures from inside a vehicle after addressing her party supporters during an election campaign rally in the southern Indian city of Chennai April 19, 2014 Reuters

After much confusion over the health condition of J. Jayalalithaa, the Chief Minister of the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, doctors treating her have finally opened up saying she is responding well to treatments.

The private hospital in Chennai where the iconic leader is admitted said that the Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) supremo, fondly called Amma, is recovering but is still in respiratory support to treat infection.

According to Hindustan Times, on Thursday morning Apollo Hospitals' sources confirmed that a team of three experts from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi, was flown down to Chennai to assist her further treatment.

The team comprises pulmonologist Dr. GC Khilnani, cardiologist Dr. Nitish Naik and anaesthetist Dr. Anjan Trikha and they will closely monitor the chief minister's health and recommend changes if needed, said the hospital source.

Dr. Naik was also India's former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's personal physician.

The hospital had brought Dr. Richard John Beale, a UK-based consultant critical care physician, to monitor Jayalalithaa's treatment.

"The treatment plan, including appropriate antibiotics, respiratory support and other allied clinical measures are presently being continued to treat the infection," said a statement released by Apollo Hospitals on 3 October.

Jayalalithaa was admitted to Apollo Hospitals in Chennai on 22 September after she complained of fever and dehydration.

Public prayers and wishes poured in from Amma loyalists. The ongoing uncertainty and false news of her passing away that took the internet by storm triggered frenzy among her party and fan following. Photographs from bizarre religious rituals, conducted for her wellbeing, surfaced on the internet.

Pictures of young children with faces pierced with metal rods and carrying photographs of Jayalalithaa attracted severe criticism. S. Ramadoss, leader of a regional party called Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), was quick to call it a "human rights violation".

According to business newspaper Mint, Ramadoss said, "There were more than 20 children, aged 5 to 12, who had their bodies pierced against their wishes. Children cannot be forced to do such things."

Tamil news channel Puthiyathalamurai reported a man carrying out self-immolation in Cuddalore district. He was hospitalised with 30 per cent burn injuries. Also, some followers attempted suicide from hanging on the crane.

Leaders were also not left behind. Former ministers from the party S.Gokula Indira and B.Valarmathi and party spokesperson C.R. Saraswathi reportedly ate food from the floor (Man sooru) as part of their prayers.