AB InBev has suspended production at its brewery in Wuhan, China, which is at the epicentre of the coronavirus epidemic. The brewery which is equipped with fully automated brewing machines imported from Germany opened in January 2018 and is dedicated solely to making craft beer including the beer of three of its leading craft breweries - Goose Island, Boxing Cat and Kaiba.
It is not clear yet if the brewery can resume production after an extended Lunar New Year break that ends on February 2.
First reports of a new virus behind a number of pneumonia cases became known on December 31 in Wuhan, a city in Eastern China with a population of over 11 million. While the cause of the outbreak was initially unknown, on January 7 Chinese health authorities identified that it was down to a strain of coronavirus that hadn’t been encountered in humans before. On January 23, Chinese officials locked down Wuhan and soon later two other cities with a combined population of more than 18 million. The train station and airport in the affected cities were shut down, and ferry, subway and bus service was halted. Chinese officials have not said how long the shutdowns of the cities will last.
Reuters reported today, that many companies, including Tesla in Shanghai, Novartis, Volkswagen, Alibaba and many more ordered a shutdown of their respective factories and others have restricted travel to China and asked staff there to work from home.
Budweiser China has decided to donate funds and resources worth RMB 10 million (USD 1.44m) to Wuhan’s Hanyang District Charity Federation, to support the fight against outbreak of 2019 – nCoV in Wuhan.
“Combined donations to Wuhan City includes a cash contribution of RMB 5 million, emergency medical supplies worth RMB 4 million, and drinking water worth RMB 1 million. Among these, the first batch of 460 cases of emergency drinking water, totaling 11,040 cans, will first be shipped to the frontline where the battle against the 2019 nCoV takes place,” the brewer reported on Thursday.
In consolation to colleagues in Wuhan and Hubei, Jan Craps, CEO and President of Budweiser APAC, has sent a dedicated letter to express the executive team’s heart-felt gratitude and respect for their understanding, tenacity, cooperation and dedication. “We believe that under the Chinese government’s unified decision-making and deployment, as long as we are all closely united, we will be able to overcome the difficulties and win this battle of epidemic control and treatment! Stay strong, Wuhan! Stay strong, Hubei! And stay strong, China!” he said.