Militiamen on their patrol in Thanh Hòa Commune, Bù Đốp District, in the southern province of Bình Phước .— Photo qdnd.vn
BÌNH PHƯỚC — Hundreds of border soldiers and militiamen are still been on duty 24 hours a day, battling the COVID-19 pandemic.
The servicemen are stationed in 73 stations along the 260km border with Cambodia and Bù Gia Mập National Park in the southern province of Bình Phước.
Colonel Bùi Minh Soái, commander of the provincial Border Guard, said the stations’ operation was maintained even after social distancing ended nearly months.
All soldiers and militiamen were still working as if the pandemic was at its peak, he said.
“We still face the potential of being attacked by the pandemic again, so we can not neglect,” he said.
Soldiers and militiamen working at stations in Bù Gia Mập and Bù Đốp districts met the most difficulties because their stations were deep in the forest and on rough terrain, he said.
The soldiers had to work without mobile phone signal and the early rains of the rainy season caused many trees to fall in the forest, blocking roads to transport necessities to the soldiers, he said.
The Măng River in Bù Đốp District has dried up, making it easier for people to illegally enter the country, he said.
This was why the soldiers had to go on patrol 24 hours per day, he added.
Another difficulty was that the soldiers face many dangers from animals and insects in the forest such as snakes, centipedes, scorpions and mosquitoes, online newspaper Quân đội nhân dân (People's Army) reported.
Lieutenant Lê Thanh Tiến, head of the station No 3, who had to delay his engagement ceremony three times because he was on duty, said: “I follow the slogan that fighting the epidemic is like fighting against the enemy.”
“Luckily, my fiancée understands the reason.”
Lieutenant Nguyễn Trường Sơn, political officer of Hoàng Diệu Border Guard Post, said it worked with the militia force of two communes of Phước Thiện and Hưng Phước to set up four stations, with three soldiers and two militiamen each.
“The soldiers and militiamen have to live in military tents in the forest,” he said.
They had conducted hundreds of patrols along the border to prevent people from illegally entering the country over the past months, he said.
Although they were very busy, the soldiers still grew vegetables and raised chickens to cook, he added.
Nguyễn Trọng Khải, head of Thanh Hòa Commune’s militia force, said the militia force had worked with Thanh Hòa Border Guard Post to set up four stations along 5.8km of the border.
In June alone, the stations found six people illegally travelling via the border and sent them to the quarantine area of Bù Đốp District, he said.
Lieutenant Colonel Phùng Mạnh Lý, head of the Militia Department under the provincial Military Command, said the command had taken a lot of measures to tackle difficulties the soldiers were facing.
The measures include providing fully-equipping facilities and more necessities as well as encouraging the soldiers, he said.
All the efforts aimed to protect the country from the pandemic, he added. — VNS