On Friday, the Catholic Church granted forgiveness – under certain conditions – for the sins of the faithful stricken by the new coronavirus.
A decree published by the Vatican also covers health professionals and those who pray for their well-being. Relatives who care for their sick family members can also be forgiven.
Conditions include patients saying a number of prayers or following important remote celebrations.
Those who pray for the well-being of caregivers should also read the Bible “for at least half an hour”.
The decree was issued the day after Italy overtook China with the highest number of deaths due to the new disease.
The pandemic killed more than 3,400 people in the Mediterranean country.
Vatican City itself has confirmed an infection.
Pope Francis was reported to have been tested for the virus as a precaution after getting a cold last month.
The Vatican never confirmed or denied the report, but repeatedly emphasized that the 83-year-old pontiff does not have COVID-19.