Berlin police detain 365 people at protest against COVID-19 restrictions

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Representative image

Berlin [Germany], November 19 (ANI/Sputnik): Police in the German capital of Berlin have detained at least 365 people during a day of protests against the restrictive measures currently in force to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease, law enforcement officials said on Wednesday.

"As of 19:30 [18:30 GMT], a total of 365 detentions were made. Many of these were due to violations of the Protection Against Infection Act," Berlin Police said in a Twitter post.

At least two people have been arrested and placed in custody, law enforcement officials stated, adding that 10 police officers suffered injuries while responding to the protests.

A Sputnik correspondent reported earlier on Wednesday that police used water cannons and tear gas to disperse protesters who had gathered near the Bundestag building in central Berlin.

The protest took place as German lawmakers debated a legal reform to give the government greater powers to enforce social distancing restrictions.

The reform, which strengthens the government's ability to make mask wearing compulsory, limit social contact, and restrict alcohol consumption in public, passed the Bundestag on Wednesday afternoon.

More than 833,300 cases of COVID-19 have been registered in Germany since the start of the pandemic, including the 17,561 new positive tests registered on Wednesday, according to the country's Robert Koch Institute.

The European country's death toll currently stands at 13,119. (ANI/Sputnik)