HIGHLIGHTS

New Delhi, Mar 27 (PTI) Following are the top stories at 1 pm: NATION DEL13 VIRUS-CASES Number of coronavirus cases 724 in India, death toll 17: Health Ministry New Delhi: The death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 17 in the country on Friday and the number of coronavirus cases climbed to 724, according to the Health Ministry.

DEL42 BIZ-LD RBI EMIs put on hold, big-bang interest rate cut as RBI joins fight against coronavirus Mumbai: The RBI on Friday put on hold EMI payments on all term loans for three months and cut interest rate by steepest in more than 11 years as it joined the government effort to rescue a slowing economy that has now got caught in coronavirus whirlwind.

DEL59 VIRUS-PM-RBI RBI announcements to safeguard economy from impact of coronavirus: PM Modi New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had taken giant steps to safeguard the economy from the impact of the coronavirus.

DEL28 BIZ-MOODYS-LD INDIA Moody's slashes India GDP growth in 2020 to 2.5 pc New Delhi: Moody's Investors Service on Friday slashed its estimate of India's GDP growth during 2020 calendar year to 2.5 per cent, from an earlier estimate of 5.3 per cent and said the coronavirus pandemic will cause unprecedented shock to the global economy.

DEL58 RJ-LD VIRUS-DEATH Rajasthan: 60-yr-old coronavirus patient dies in Bhilwara Jaipur: A 60-year-old man, who had tested positive for coronavirus in Rajasthan's Bhilwara, has died due to comorbid conditions of heart and kidney ailments, an official said on Friday.

DEL1 VIRUS-SAARC-INDIA India proposes online platform for SAARC to jointly combat coronavirus New Delhi: India has proposed setting up of a common electronic platform for all SAARC nations to share expertise and best practices in jointly combatting the coronavirus pandemic.

DEL60 VIRUS-KEJRIWAL Delhi govt prepared to tackle situation if no. of coronavirus cases goes up: Kejriwal New Delhi: Arrangements were in place to deal with the situation if the number of coronavirus cases went up to even 100 per day in the national capital, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Friday.

DEL50 ART-LD GUJRAL-DEAD Renowned artist Satish Gujral dies in Delhi home New Delhi: Artist and architect Satish Gujral, renowned for his versatility across different mediums, has died of old age reasons in his Delhi home, a member of his family said on Friday. He was 94.

DEL36 RAMAYAN-DOORDARSHAN On public demand, Ramanand Sagar's 'Ramayan' makes comeback during lockdown New Delhi: Doordarshan will be telecasting mythological series 'Ramayan' from Saturday on public demand, Union minister Prakash Javadekar said on Friday.

FOREIGN FGN17 VIRUS-US-2NDLD CASES US has most confirmed coronavirus cases in world Washington: The US now has more coronavirus cases than any other country after more than 16,000 COVID-19 infections were reported there in a single day, taking the number of patients in America to over 85,600, according to Johns Hopkins University data. By Lalit K Jha FGN19 VIRUS-LD CHINA China reports one local coronavirus case after three days; imported cases near 600 Beijing: China has reported one domestically transmitted coronavirus case after three days and 54 new imported infections on Thursday, prompting Beijing to temporarily cancel visas for foreigners and restrict flights to prevent a second wave of the deadly COVID-19 in the country, health officials said on Friday. By K J M Varma FGN24 VIRUS-XI-LD TRUMP Xi tells Trump China and US must 'unite to fight virus' Beijing: China and the United States should 'unite to fight' the deadly coronavirus pandemic that has ravaged the globe, said President Xi Jinping in a call with his US counterpart on Friday, according to state media.

FGN23 VIRUS-UN-LD CHINA UNSC yet to discuss COVID-19 under China's presidency, diplomat calls it 'not fit' for challenges United Nations: The UN Security Council, under the presidency of China this month, has not yet scheduled any meeting to discuss the rapidly-escalating coronavirus crisis, prompting a UN diplomat to say that the 15-nation powerful organ of the world body is 'not fit' for the challenges of our times. By Yoshita Singh BUSINESS DEL47 BIZ-RBI-GROWTH RBI refrains from giving growth, inflation outlooks; says current GDP projections at risk Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday refrained from making any projections for growth and inflation saying the performance of these two key macroeconomic parameters in the days ahead would depend upon the intensity, spread and duration of COVID-19.

DEL45 BIZ-VIRUS-RBI-EMI RBI asks lending firms to allow 3-month moratorium on EMI payments New Delhi: The Reserve Bank of India on Friday asked all lending institutions to allow three-month moratorium on EMI payments in order to infuse liquidity into the system as the economy grapples with COVID-19 challenges. PTI RHL