Several thousand protesters, including supporters of football teams, gathered in Prague on Sunday to demand the resignation of Health Minister Roman Prymula, who is responsible for the measures.

The demonstration took a violent turn after the police started to disperse the crowd, the number of demonstrators being much higher than the one allowed at the rallies.

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“Participants attacked the police for no reason,” Prague Police Chief Tomas Lerch told reporters, and another police official accused the “radical supporters.”

“We used water cannons, tear gas and firecrackers,” Lerch said, adding that about 20 police officers were injured.

Emergency services announced in a message posted on Twitter that they had cared for nine people and hospitalized four injured.

Prior to the meeting, police detained 50 people and confiscated fireworks, telescopic sticks, metal punches and firearms.

The Czech Republic recorded a record 11,105 new contaminations in a single day on Friday. On Sunday, the toll rose to 170,000 contaminations and more than 1,400 deaths due to covid-19.

The meeting was organized by the HON association, but the supporters of the football teams represented an important part of the crowd.

The Minister of Health ”does not admit any opposition. How dare they do such a thing? Who do they think I’m talking to? We are not sheep, we are normal people, “Vlasta Ciencialova, a protester who came to Prague from the east of the country, told AFP.

Prymula condemned the protesters, whom he accused of “contempt for the work of medical staff.”

“As a result, I assume we will have hundreds of new infections,” the minister said indignantly.

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