World Czech Police Clash With Protesters Opposing Covid-19 Curbs

00:45  19 october  2020
00:45  19 october  2020 Source:   bloomberg.com

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Czech riot police deployed tear gas, flashbang grenades, and a water cannon to disperse a crowd of protesters who refused to leave Prague’s Old Town Riot police officers detain a demonstrator during a protest against the Czech government's Covid 019 restrictions. ©REUTERS / David W Cerny.

Police clash with protesters at the Old Town Square in Prague, Czech Republic. Officials have warned that hospital admissions are set to rise sharply until the restrictions show an impact. emonstrators gather to protest against the COVID - 19 restrictive measures at Old Town Square.

(Bloomberg) --

Hundreds of protesters clashed with riot police in Prague in a protest against social distancing rules and government measures such as wearing face-masks to stem the most acute spread of the coronavirus in Europe.

The police used tear gas, water cannon and an armored personnel carrier to disperse the crowd of some 2,000 protesters, which assembled at the city’s Old Town Square.

Some people, mostly hockey and football fans, refused to leave after the authorities ended the demonstration and used small explosive devices against the officers. Some 100 people were arrested after the protests and 20 people were injured, according to CTK newswire.

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a group of people in uniform standing in front of a building: Prague Becomes Europe's Coronavirus Hotspot © Photographer: Gabriel Kuchta/Getty Images Europe Prague Becomes Europe's Coronavirus Hotspot

Demonstrators clash with police as they gather to protest against the COVID-19 restrictive measures at Old Town Square in Prague, on Oct. 18.

Photographer: Gabriel Kuchta/Getty Images

The rally was legal on the conditions that there wouldn’t be more than 500 people and that protesters followed social distancing rules and wore face-masks.

The protesters who violated the government rules should be punished “harshly,” Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said in a Facebook post. In a separate post, he urged people to stay at home as much as possible as the next week will be key in the nation’s fight against the renewed outbreak.

The Czech Republic, which was one of the most successful European countries in handling the pandemic in the spring, is now facing the continent’s worst spread of Covid-19. The government shut schools, restaurants and bars and mandated face masks in public spaces.

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