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  • Police forces repress protest against government's coronavirus restrictions, Germany, Berlin, Nov. 19, 2020.

    Police forces repress protest against government's coronavirus restrictions, Germany, Berlin, Nov. 19, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @AbdulsatarBoch1

Published 19 November 2020
Opinion

Demonstrators rejected the approval of a new law which grants the Executive more power to impose COVID-19 restrictions measures. 

Germany's police forces used water cannons and pepper gas to disperse demonstrators who gathered in the capital Berlin to reject COVID-19 restrictions measures.

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At least 365 people have been arrested and a dozen officers injured during the demonstrations that marched around the Reichstag building and the Brandenburg Gate.

The protests were called after the Parliament approved a reform of the Law on Protection against Infection (IfSG), which gives the executive branch greater powers to issue restrictions. 

"We have never experienced such tenacity (...) people probably don't even know that they are committing a crime for violating the ban on meetings," police spokeswoman Anja Dierschke said.

Since November 2, Germany has been in partial confinement to contain the spread of the coronavirus, which has included the closing of restaurants and gathering restrictions.

Health officials have reported 17,561 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 833,307 since the start of the pandemic. Meanwhile, 13,119 people have succumbed to the virus. 

Health Minister Jens Spahn has defended the government's actions and called on the population to have confidence in the authorities, warning that the upsurge in infections threatens to push the capacity of hospitals to the limit, especially in intensive care units.

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