|Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam (standing) speaks at the event (Photo: VNA)
Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam affirmed the key role of the military, including the border guard force, in battling COVID-19 during a working session with the Border Guard High Command on August 11.
As head of the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control, he noted that the pandemic may last for a long time, asking the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to devise plan to ensure equipment and fortify checkpoints along the border for soldiers, especially in unfavourable conditions and weather.
He also urged authorities of border localities to closely team up with the border guard and public security forces to keep a close eye on people entering Vietnam, particularly in industrial zones.
The MoD was requested to join hands with the Ministry of Public Security to submit to the Prime Minister a plan on enhancing capacity for border protection and management in the new context, which pays due attention to the application of information technology.
Deputy Commander of the Border Guard Major General Le Duc Thai reported at the meeting that there are complicated developments regarding the illegal movement across the land border after Vietnam imposed restrictions of entry and compulsory quarantine for those who enter the country to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Thai, from February 2 to August 7, as many as 16,530 illegal immigrants were discovered and handled.
He said the Border Guard High Command has enhanced personnel along the border, devised plans to receive Vietnamese citizens returning from abroad and tackle rings that organise illegal travel across the border, adding that the force has stationed nearly 9,800 soldiers at more than 1,600 checkpoints since July 25.
The forces also launched proceedings and handed over 41 cases of organising and brokering illegal migration to competent agencies.
In the coming time, the force will continue to keep a close watch on border gates, trails and crossings, maintain the number of patrols, checkpoints and staff, and send more personnel to major and complicated locations.VNA