The world is getting madder and madder, as basic sense of personal hygiene is being touted somehow as being a conflict with self-professed personal liberties. And these contraptions of civil liberties with ill-minded sense of public sanitation has swept America, the British Isles. Now the scene is moving to Europe, in the most unexpected nation in the continent: Germany.
Instead of the liberal atmosphere that the city is usually known for, Berlin was packed on last Saturday with non-mask-wearing protesters. The march was aptly named “Day of Freedom — The End of the Pandemic”. The conveners were spotted sporting anti-vaxxer or Neo-Nazi catchphrases, some even brazenly yelling “We are the second wave.”
“Our colleagues are using loud speakers to urge the adherence to the rules. We are also documenting non-compliance for possible later prosecution,” Berlin police tweeted, adding that a criminal complaint has been made against the organizers of the said protest.
Police warned the roughly 17,000 protesters who participated in the march they would only be allowed to participate in the demonstration if they wore face coverings and maintained social distance.
A livestream from the protest showed almost no one wearing a face mask, although the master of ceremonies told the crowd from the stage to maintain physical distance so as not to give the authorities “a pretext” for breaking up the event.
Germany recorded 955 new coronavirus infections in a 24-hour time span for the first time since the beginning of May, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s agency for disease control and prevention.
The data was published Saturday morning but reflects Friday’s numbers.The last time Germany recorded a higher number of new coronavirus cases was in May. The German government has been warning about a new spike in coronavirus cases after the pandemic had largely been brought under control.
The institute says lax enforcement of social distancing and hygiene rules as well as travelers returning from abroad are to blame for the steep rise in cases.
Germany’s economy minister Peter Altmaier said in a Twitter post on Saturday that this new number is “alarming” “Especially since it is not large ‘hot spots’ but smaller clusters of infections.The main risks need to clearly be named so that a more targeted prevention becomes possible,” Altmaier wrote.
Starting Saturday, all travelers coming to Germany will be able to get free coronavirus tests up 72 hours after arrival, according to a new directive from Germany’s health ministry.
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