Corona beer production halts due to coronavirus pandemic.

Bottles of Corona beer are shown in this Sept. 28, 2016 file photo.

Bottles of Corona beer are shown in this Sept. 28, 2016 file photo.

EPA/HANNAH MCKAY

The novel coronavirus pandemic has temporarily killed all production of Corona beer — but not because of the fake rumours or jokes linking it to the disease.

Grupo Modelo, the company that brews Corona beer in Mexico, has been forced to temporarily suspend production under the country’s lockdown measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

Mexico declared a health emergency this week and ordered all non-essential services to suspend operations amid the crisis, which has resulted in more than 1,000 infections to date.

Grupo Modelo’s 11 breweries fell under Mexico’s definition of a non-essential business, leaving the company with no choice but to shutter its operations and suspend Corona exports to 180 countries worldwide.

The brewer says it’s already scaling back production and will suspend operations on Sunday. But all is not lost, Corona lovers: the company will leave the breweries set up so it can quickly crank out more beer if the situation improves.

“If the federal government considers it appropriate to issue some clarification confirming beer as an agro-industrial product, at Grupo Modelo we are ready to execute a plan with more than 75 per cent of our staff working from home and at the same time guaranteeing the supply of beer,” the company said in a statement.

Corona beer became a target for viral memes in the early days of the novel coronavirus crisis before the World Health Organization declared it a pandemic.

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There were also rumours that people were shunning the beer amid fears of the virus, although those were based on a dubious and since-debunked PR survey.

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There is no link between the beer and the virus. Obviously.

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

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

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. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

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

—With files from Reuters

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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