The information was announced during a conference on strengthening COVID-19 prevention efforts in the new situation organized by the Ministry of Health on Tuesday.

According to Major General Nguyen Duc Manh, deputy commander of the Vietnam Border Guard, illegal entry remains a complicated and concerning problem despite multiple measures to tighten security along the country’s borderline.

The violations have been done in many ways and involved many Vietnamese and foreign individuals, Manh elaborated.

Border guards have detected 20,160 border jumpers in the year to date, the official stated, adding that 8,340 Vietnamese citizens have also been caught entering neighboring countries against the law this year.

Manh reported a rising trend in which Chinese nationals arrive in Vietnam legally but they overstay their visa in order to avoid the COVID-19 pandemic in their home country.

They often stay at local hotels or make bogus documents to prevent them from being detected by local authorities.

In other cases, multiple Vietnamese laborers in Laos were caught returning to Vietnam against the law so as to dodge mandatory COVID-19 quarantine.

Several Vietnamese workers were also discovered coming back from Brunei and Cambodia unlawfully along the maritime border.

A large number of suspects have been arrested over the past months for arranging for people to enter or exit Vietnam illicitly, according to Major General Manh.

The border guard official warned that more cases of illegal entry will take place during the remaining time of 2020 and prior to the 2021 Lunar New Year, which may pose high risk of new COVID-19 outbreaks in the country.

Border guard officers will maintain their readiness and high alert to combat illegal entry along the country’s border.

This article was originally published on Tuoitre