Hundreds arrested at Melbourne anti-lockdown protest

Sydney, Australia, Nov 3 (efe-epa).- Police in Melbourne arrested more than 400 people at an anti-lockdown protest on Tuesday.

Melbourne, in the state of Victoria, has been a Covid-19 hotspot in Australia, although tough lockdown measures have recently been eased and the country reported zero new cases just two days ago.

Victoria police told Efe that 395 people were issued fined after the protests, most for minor breaches of Covid-19 rules such as refusing to wear a mask in public or traveling more than 25 kilometers from their homes.

Police used pepper spray to disperse the protesters, who were several hundred in number. Some members of the demonstration held coronavirus denialist slogans on placards and others chanted that lockdown rules were a breach of human rights, according to local TV.

Melbourne’s roughly five million residents were subject to four months of tight restrictions as authorities tried to stem the spread of Covid-19 in Australia’s second-most populous city.

Tuesdays’ protest coincided with the Melbourne Cup horse racing event, which this year has to be held behind closed doors.

Australia has an overall Covid-19 caseload of 27,610. Some 907 people have died and 158 cases are active.

The vast majority of infections and deaths were reported in Victoria.

The state recorded no new cases for the first time since March on 26 October.

Daniel Andrews, the premier of Victoria, tweeted: “Today’s the first time we’ve recorded two zero days since the start of March. This is yours Victoria. Let’s keep going.”EFE-EPA

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