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Coronavirus: Long-distance couple make masks to stop COVID-19

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WATCH: Despite being in different countries, a husband and wife team are working together to provide more masks for people worried about COVID-19 – Mar 22, 2020

A husband and wife team are working together to help those who need facemasks during the coronavirus pandemic — including in Iran.

Rashid Ahmed and Verdah married in 2018 but are stuck in different countries. Verdah is waiting for a visa from the Canadian government and can’t leave Iran until she receives it.

Rashid, meanwhile, lives in Saskatoon.

“It’s very emotional for us, when my wife actually cries sometime and I have to overcome that stress for her to be more strong inside so that I can help her,” he told Global News.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan reports new cases of COVID-19 bringing total to 52

“Everyone [in Iran] is tense and scared too because they’re watching the news and finding that there are a lot of people dying every day and some of them are their friends and their families.
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Rashid is worried because the coronavirus and COVID-19 have devastated Iran. According to the Iranian health ministry, the country has more than 21,000 cases and almost 1,700 deaths — meaning someone dies from COVID-19 every 10 minutes.

To stay safe, Verdah has been in isolation for 25 days.

READ MORE: Iran’s leader rejects coronavirus assistance from U.S., cites conspiracy theory

She began making masks to stay busy, to protect seniors and to keep supplies free for medical professionals, who already don’t have enough. American sanctions prevent many things, including medical supplies, from entering the country. The policy has left doctors and nurses struggling to cope with the pandemic.

Rashid and his mother have begun making masks in Saskatoon and are looking for donations so that Verdah can buy supplies to make more. Verdah and her family made 300 masks in two days, according to Rashid.

READ MORE: Saskatoon man fears Iran tensions will keep family apart

Rashid said he hopes the masks help and that he and Verdah can make more.

But above all, he wants to see his wife safe in Canada.

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“I hope we will be able to bring her here as soon as possible because whenever I see … that the prime minister is helping other people to bring their families [here], I always think about my wife.”

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are asked to self-isolate for 14 days in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. And if you get sick, stay at home.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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