By Adriana Barrera
MEXICO CITY, April 2 (Reuters) - Mexico's Grupo Modelo said on Thursday it will temporarily stop brewing Corona beer and other brands exported to 180 countries after its business activities were declared non-essential under a government order aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus.
The Mexican government this week declared a health emergency and ordered the suspension of non-essential activities after the number of coronavirus cases in the country surpassed 1,000. On Thursday, it reported 1,510 cases and 50 deaths.
The brewer said in a statement that the suspension will go into place from Sunday and that it was already in the process of scaling down production to a level at which it could resume once the suspension is lifted.
"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% of our staff working from home and at the same time guaranteeing the supply of beer," the statement said.
Agriculture and food production in general are considered essential activities.
Grupo Modelo GPMCF.PK, which is part of the brewing group Anheuser-Busch InBev, operates 11 breweries in Mexico.
(Reporting by Adriana Barrera; Writing by Stefanie Eschenbacher; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Edwina Gibbs)
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