While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, March 15

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Coronavirus: Trump takes test, extends travel ban to Britain, Ireland

President Donald Trump has taken a coronavirus test but said on Saturday that his temperature was "totally normal", and his administration extended a travel ban to Britain and Ireland to try to contain a pandemic that has shut down much of the daily routine of American life.

After White House officials took the unprecedented step of checking the temperatures of journalists entering the briefing room, Trump told reporters he took a test for the virus on Friday night and that he expects the results in "a day or two days."

He met with a Brazilian delegation last week, at least one member of which has since tested positive.

The top US infectious diseases expert, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony Fauci, said the country has recorded 2,226 cases of the new coronavirus, but has not yet reached the peak of the outbreak.


Coronavirus: Spain will impose partial lockdown, says PM

Spain will put its 47 million inhabitants under partial lockdown as part of a 15-day state of emergency to combat the coronavirus epidemic, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Saturday in a televised address to the nation.

All Spaniards will have to stay home except to buy food, medicines, go to the hospital or to work or for other emergencies, with some limits on the freedom of movement starting already on Saturday, he said.

Sanchez said he was aware the measures will have a major impact on citizens and businesses but promised the government would do all it can to mitigate the impact.


Coronavirus: Viral photo highlights plight of Italy's exhausted health workers

A worn-out nurse slumps over her keyboard in a widely shared image symbolic of the extreme fatigue that Italian health-care workers are facing as they battle Europe's worse outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The picture is of Elena Pagliarini, a nurse in the northern region of Lombardy which has been worst hit by the disease.

Nationwide Italy has more than 1,400 deaths from the virus and 21,000 infections, with a quarter of the country's intensive care beds taken up by those with the illness.


Two Western hostages freed after 15-month captivity in Africa's Sahel

A Canadian woman and an Italian man kidnapped while travelling through Burkina Faso 15 months ago have been freed and are in good health, the president of neighbouring Mali said on Saturday after meeting the pair.

Edith Blais and Luca Tacchetto, who went missing in December 2018, were found by peacekeeping troops near the northern Malian city of Kidal on Friday, a spokesman for the UN peacekeeping mission Minusma said.

Militant groups with links to Al-Qaeda and Islamic State that are active in the region have kidnapped Westerners in the past, though it is not known who was responsible for the pair's abduction or if any ransom was paid.


Coronavirus: Spielberg-produced Amazon mini-series in Mexico put on hold

The filming in Mexico of a big budget Steven Spielberg-produced Amazon mini-series, starring Spanish actor Javier Bardem, has been suspended due to concerns about the coronavirus, according to a letter sent to cast and crew and seen by Reuters.

The production entitled Mexica, which centers on the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs, began filming two weeks ago on location in Mexico City.

Mexico has so far confirmed 26 cases of coronavirus.


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