Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa, who underwent a tracheostomy following a severe lung infection, is now able to speak a few minutes at a time using speakers, Apollo Hospital group chairman Pratap Reddy said on Friday.
Reddy said the ailing 68-year-old was able to breathe without the use of medical aid “90% of the time”.
“She is fine and can return home whenever she feels like it,” he said, adding that the priority now was for Jayalalithaa to start walking.
The AIADMK leader has been in hospital since September 22, though it is still unknown what exactly ails her or how her health condition is beyond a series of health notices issued by Apollo Hospital.
Last week saw the first signed statement by the actress-turned-politician, in which she thanked her fans for their devotion and prayers, and described her recovery as “a rebirth”.
Her trusted aide and finance minister O Panneerselvam, who has twice stood in as interim CM during her arrests in 2000 and 2014, is heading cabinet meetings in her stead, and has temporarily assumed charge of the CM’s eight portfolios.