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Coca-Cola to suspend production in India amid coronavirus lockdowns

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BENGALURU, March 24 (Reuters) - Coca-Cola's India unit said on Tuesday it has temporarily suspended production at its manufacturing facilities across the country following widespread lockdowns to halt the spread of coronavirus.

The company said https://www.coca-colaindia.com/newsroom/press-releases/2020/press-note-coca-cola-india it would operate its manufacturing facilities in a "very small number" to provide essential beverages. A spokesperson told Reuters that the company will keep up production for essential beverages like bottled water.

The announcement comes amid a widespread shutdown of manufacturing and production facilities by various global and domestic companies in the country.

Ride-hailing firm Uber on Monday suspended some or all ride services in 27 cities in India to comply with government directives.

The world's largest beverage maker had last month warned of a 1 cent to 2 cent impact to its Q1 earnings per share due to impact of the coronavirus.

Coca-Cola rival PepsiCo Inc's bottling partner in India, Varun Beverages Ltd, also announced closure of all its corporate office and plants on Tuesday.

India has reported nearly 500 coronavirus cases and nine deaths from the COVID-19 disease it causes. (Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru)