Dharamshala: Tibetan Medical Institute in Dharamshala is distributing a type of pill that requires one to wear it around his or her neck, claiming that it can prevent people from coronavirus and other contagious diseases.

Dr Tenzin Yeshi, a researcher at Men-Tse-Khang, Tibetan Medical Institute in Dharamshala said, "We all know that there is an outbreak of coronavirus in China and in many other countries. It is spreading very fast. These pills act as a protective shield against the virus."

"This medicine is not to be taken orally but one has to wear it around the neck and this pill is wrapped in a black cloth and sealed by five different threads, which symbolized five elements," said Dr Yeshi.

"It has a strong smell, a strong aroma which protects the individual from the contagious disease. It also helps to improve the immune system," he added. 

"We believe that this pill works on preventing other contagious diseases also," he said.

The number of people, who died from the deadly virus in China's Hubei province has risen to 618, while over 31,100 have been infected in mainland China.

Two casualties have also been reported outside mainland China, one in Hong Kong and one in Philippines.