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COVID-19: More than 60 arrested in London anti-lockdown protests

Police have arrested more than 60 people after anti-lockdown protesters gathered in central London in breach of coronavirus restrictions.

COVID-19 More than 60 arrested in London anti-lockdown protests www.theafricanstand.com
Police officers detain an anti-lockdown protestor during a demonstration amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in London. Reuters

More than 60 people were arrested in central London on Saturday while protesting government-enforced coronavirus lockdown measures.

Hundreds of demonstrators marched through the UK capital near Oxford Street chanting “freedom”, with some carrying placards stating “stop controlling us”, “ditch the facemasks” and “no more lockdowns”.

The Metropolitan Police said the arrests were for several suspected offences, including breaching coronavirus restrictions.

“We continue to urge people to go home,” the force said.

There was violence between demonstrators and the police. Some people fired flares and traffic was temporarily blocked on Regent Street as police made their arrests. Others were led away in handcuffs in Hyde Park.

The Met said three people were arrested at King’s Cross station in London before the protests on suspicion of breaching coronavirus restrictions.

There have been several anti-lockdown protests in central London since the onset of the pandemic.

The UK is in a nationwide lockdown until December 2 to try to flatten the curve of its second wave of infections. Protests and other mass gatherings are currently banned.

From Wednesday, the country will move into a tiered system, with areas with high rates ordered to follow stricter socially distancing restrictions.

Covid-19 has claimed the lives of at least 58,000 people in the UK and infected more than 1.6 million of them.

Earlier on Saturday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson appointed Nadhim Zahawi to oversee the distribution of the Covid vaccine in Britain.

Officials also revealed at the weekend that up to 2.7 million people at risk of Covid-19 in England will be offered a free supply of vitamin D by the government.

Studies have shown that the vitamin helps strengthen the immune response against the virus. From January, care homes in England will automatically receive free supplies of the supplement for residents.

Hassan Juma

Written by Hassan Juma

Hassan Juma is an international reporter who graduated with a degree from The United States International University where he majored in Journalism and International Relations and he is currently working for African Stand as a senior reporter covering the Middle East, US, Asia, and Europe.

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