The health condition of former West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya has improved considerably, a doctor treating him said on Wednesday.

The 79-old Bhattacharya was hospitalised on July 29 with respiratory problems.

"On the fifth day of admission, he is on intermittent non-invasive ventilatory support. He is alert and is talking to doctors and visitors. We have decided to continue with the relevant conservative medical management and physiotherapy," a doctor of the hospital said.

The former CM's blood pressure has improved and the IV antibiotics he is currently on will be continued, he said, adding that the patient is on Ryle's tube feeding and a swallow assessment is being done.

"His overall status remained stable," he added.

The multidisciplinary team treating the former West Bengal CM is likely to take a call on when to discharge him, he said.

Bhattacharya was rushed to the hospital in Kolkata's Alipore area with breathing trouble, and was diagnosed with lower respiratory tract infection and 'Type 2' respiratory failure. He has been suffering from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), and other age-related ailments.

He took over as the chief minister of West Bengal in 2000 from party senior Jyoti Basu. He remained in the post till 2011, handling a tenure marked by agitations over the acquisition of land for industries led by now Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

As Bhattacharya lost the 2011 assembly elections to Banerjee's TMC, the CPI(M)-led Left Front's 34 years of rule in the state came to an end -- a loss from which it is yet to recover.

Over the last few years, Bhattacharya stayed away from the public glare due to his deteriorating health and remained confined to his Palm Avenue apartment.

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