The Union Territory of Puducherry on Wednesday declared holidays for schools from classes 1-8 from Friday to March 26 in an effort to prevent the spreading of influenza.

The announcement made by Puducherry Education Minister A. Nammasivayam came after 79 influenza cases were reported in the union territory in the past four days.

With the number of H1N1 cases increasing in Tamil Nadu and the possibilities of H3N2 also reported from Tamil Nadu and other states, the government of Puducherry has declared holidays for school children.

The ICMR has also called upon the states and Union Territories to be on guard and to keep vigil against the spread of H3N2.

Public Health experts are of the opinion that testing facilities to diagnose H3N2 are much less in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and as per the symptoms, there is a thin difference between Covid and H3N2.

The ICMR has also directed people to maintain Covid-19 protocols.