Germany: 45 officers injured at Berlin rally against coronavirus curbs

Berlin police said dozens of officers were injured — and three were hospitalized — while dispersing some 20,000 people protesting anti-pandemic measures. Many participants dismissed the coronavirus as a "false alarm."

Some 45 police officers were reportedly injured in Berlin on Saturday as they tried to break up a large gathering of people demonstrating against coronavirus restrictions, including the face mask requirement.

Three of the officers were being treated in hospital, Berlin police said in a statement.

More than 130 people were arrested, for offenses including resisting arrest, breach of the peace and the use of unconstitutional symbols.

Saturday's protests, through the streets of the German capital, went ahead despite a new spike in domestic cases, and warnings that Europe is being hit by a second wave.

The police said they deployed 1,100 officers to monitor the rally and later disperse the crowd of up to 20,000 people, which was widely criticized for not wearing masks or observing social distancing.

Berlin Mayor Michael Müller sharply criticized the protesters saying they had not considered the facts and thus risked the health of other people.

He added that there was no vaccine or effective treatment yet and that the pandemic was not over.