The Directorate of Health and Family Welfare Services of Puducherry on Sunday declared a 'public health emergency' in the Karaikal region, an outlying pocket of the Union Territory, following an outbreak of acute diarrhoeal cases over the last few days.
A release from the Director of Health G Sriramulu said a large number of people were found to be suffering from acute diarrhoeal disease.
"A large number of people were affected by the disease," he said, adding that examination of drinking water samples in the region was found to be not good for consumption.
Sriramulu said some of the patients were reportedly positive for cholera.
He said more cases were reported in hospitals daily and special teams of doctors have been formed to take stock of the situation.
Steps to manage the situation are being taken in coordination with the Public Works Department and Municipalities, he said.
Contamination of drinking water was allegedly the reason for the spread of the disease, he added.
People were instructed to drink only boiled water. Hotels and restaurants were also asked to supply only boiled water, the official said.
Around 700 people were admitted to the hospitals in Karaikal so far, an official source told PTI.
Meanwhile, Puducherry Education Director Rudra Goud said all schools and colleges would remain closed for three days from Monday 'due to an outbreak of cholera in the Karaikal region.
However, Board examinations for polytechnic colleges would be held as scheduled, the Director said.
Transport Minister Chandra Priyanka, hailing from Karaikal, rushed to the region on Saturday and reviewed the situation.
A release from office of the Minister said along with PWD Minister K Lakshminarayanan a detailed review of the situation was made in Karaikal today.
Samples of water supplied from an overhead tank in the region were taken to assess the quality of the water, said the release.
Local legislator A M H Nazeem, District Collector Mansoor, and Director of Health of Puducherry were among those who participated in the review of the situation, it added.
Also, Lieutenant Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan held discussions with the officials of the Health Department through video conference from Telangana (of which she is the Governor) and directed the officials to take immediate steps to prevent the spread of the disease.
She asked the Health Department to ensure the supply of ORS packets to the patients to protect them from the impact of the diarrhoeal disease, said a release from the office of the Lieutenant Governor.