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World Warsaw police detain 278 after Saturday's protests against coronavirus restrictions

12:25  25 october  2020
12:25  25 october  2020 Source:   reuters.com

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Police used tear gas and made arrests at a rally against coronavirus restrictions in Warsaw on Saturday . The confrontations came as hundreds marched through the city after the Polish authorities announced that public gatherings would be limited to up to five people due to the rising numbers of

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WARSAW (Reuters) - Warsaw police detained 278 people on Saturday after thousands protested against new curbs aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus, a police spokesman said.

a group of people walking down the street: A policeman sprays demonstrators with tear gas during anti lockdown protest in Warsaw © Reuters/AGENCJA GAZETA A policeman sprays demonstrators with tear gas during anti lockdown protest in Warsaw

Police said demonstrators had attacked policemen, throwing stones, glass bottles and fire crackers during the demonstrations. Police used tear gas on several occasions during the protests in Warsaw in which people demanded that new restrictions be repealed.

a group of people that are standing in the grass: A demonstrator stands in front of the police during anti lockdown protest as the government announced additional restrictions to prevent spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Warsaw © Reuters/AGENCJA GAZETA A demonstrator stands in front of the police during anti lockdown protest as the government announced additional restrictions to prevent spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Warsaw

"We have 278 detainees. ... We were dealing with a clear manifestation of aggression, these people came to fight us," Warsaw police spokesman Sylwester Marczak told reporters on Sunday.

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a group of people standing in a parking lot with Buekorps Museum in the background: Rally against COVID-19 measures imposed by the Polish government, in Warsaw © Reuters/AGENCJA GAZETA Rally against COVID-19 measures imposed by the Polish government, in Warsaw

The demonstrations also broke a ban on gatherings of more than five people, which came into effect on Saturday as part of new measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Poland is seeing a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases, with new infections on Friday hitting a daily record of 13,632.

The head of the Polish Football Association, 1980s soccer star Zbigniew Boniek, tweeted on Sunday that he was infected with COVID-19, a day after Polish President Andrzej Duda tested positive for the disease.

New curbs imposed on Saturday include a two-week shutdown of restaurants and bars. Schools will remain open for children up to third grade, with older students moving to distance learning. Older people can leave their homes only in special cases.

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WARSAW (Reuters) - Polish President Andrzej Duda has tested positive for coronavirus , authorities said on Saturday , and police used tear gas on several occasions as thousands of people protested in Warsaw against restrictions aimed at curbing the surging epidemic.

Angolan protesters defied coronavirus restrictions in the capital of Luanda on Saturday , taking to the streets to demonstrate against the government. Police fired teargas and beat up demonstrators, some of whom had set up barricades and set fires.

Despite the ban on gatherings, Poland also separately continued to see demonstrations on Saturday against a ruling on Thursday by the Constitutional Tribunal that imposes a near-total ban on abortion in the Catholic country.

On Sunday activists have said they plan to gather in front of churches across the country, holding banners depicting crucified pregnant women.

Recent opinion polls have also shown a drop in support for the ruling nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party.

It has faced criticism in recent days from the opposition that the country is not sufficiently prepared for a second wave of the virus and over the anti-abortion ruling.

PiS lawmakers welcomed the Constitutional Tribunal's decision on Thursday but rejected accusations by the opposition that the PiS had influenced it.

The Health Ministry reported 87 coronavirus-related deaths on Sunday, taking the total death toll from COVID-19 to 4,438. The country recorded 11,742 new cases on Sunday, with total infections approaching 253,700.

(Reporting by Alicja Ptak and Marcin Goclowski; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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