Erfurt (dpa) – In the corona hotspot district of Hildburghausen, police used pepper spray to break a protest rally against the new infection protection rules.
About 400 people had gathered in the market square on Wednesday evening, despite exit restrictions. According to the police, there were numerous violations: “For example, minimum distances were not observed, masks were not worn and people left their homes for no good reason.” About 30 officials managed to disperse the protesters.
According to Mayor Tilo Kummer (left), the participants spoke of a “walk”. “I am amazed,” Kummer wrote on Facebook in the evening. «The market in Hildburghausen is full of people! Many don’t wear masks! What remains to be done for some people to understand the gravity of the situation? “Several people in the circle fought for their lives. Whole daycare centers, schools, ambulance stations and fire departments had to be quarantined for the past two weeks.” Can’t you keep your distance for two weeks? “
The Hildburghausen district currently has the largest number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants nationwide within seven days. Since Wednesday, a regional lockdown with exit restrictions and closed schools and kindergartens has been in effect. The protests took place during talks between the Prime Minister and Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU).
Police say the pepper spray was used selectively to prevent protesters from taking a local road. Multiple attempts to communicate to get the participants to leave the demonstration have failed, police said Thursday night.
30 participants received a complaint for violation of the Infection Protection Act. According to the information, there were no injuries or arrests. The meeting started around 7:00 PM and the protests ended around 8:45 PM.
Thuringia’s Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow (left) appealed to people in the Hildburghausen district to adhere to the new infection protection rules. A major effort is being made to “protect the life and limb of people” with stricter measures, he said on Wednesday after the switch between Prime Minister and Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU). But he saw pictures showing that hundreds of people had gathered in the market.
According to Ramelow, these people had signaled that they were not interested in the infection process in their circle. “You are in the district with the highest infection rate in all of Germany, but you indicate that you are more likely to reject the measures to prevent the infections,” said Ramelow.
According to figures from the Robert Koch Institute, Hildburghausen had 526.9 cases of infection per 100,000 inhabitants per week – this is the highest infection rate in the entire country. From a value of 50, a region is considered a risk area.
Ramelow called on the people of Hildburghausen to show solidarity and “help and support each other”. The situation in the intensive care units of the hospitals is particularly tense in the South Thuringia region. “Then if you believe that you can respond to it with a greater form of contempt and denial, you are doing your fellow citizens a disservice,” Ramelow said.