BERLIN -- Thousands have converged in Berlin to protest Germany's coronavirus restrictions at a demonstration proclaiming “the end of the pandemic” has arrived.
The protest comes as German authorities are voicing increasing concerns about an uptick in new infections.
A whistling, cheering crowd marched through downtown Berlin from the Brandenburg Gate with few masks in sight on Saturday.
Protesters held up homemade placards featuring slogans that included “Corona, false alarm,” and “We are being forced to wear a muzzle.”
German officials pleaded with the public this week to observe social distancing and wear masks.
The national disease control center reported 955 new cases Friday, a high number by recent standards.
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid non-essential travel.