The number of migrants detained over 24 hours had been the highest on record, SBGS spokesman Giedrius Misutis told BNS adding that it exceeded previous record numbers nearly threefold.

The migrants detained included citizens of Cameroon, Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.

The majority of 150 illegal migrants have already asked for asylum in Lithuania. All foreigners will be tested for COVID-19 and will be isolated until the results are available.

A total of 822 illegal migrants have been detained so far in Lithuania, having crossed in from Belarus, up from 81 such foreigners detained in full 2020, 46 detained in 2019, 104 in 2018, and 72 in 2017.

The illegal migrants detained at the border with Belarus so far this year include 481 individuals who are Iraqis or claim to be Iraqis, as well as citizens of Iran (57), Syria (51), Belarus (46), Russia (28), Guinea (13), Turkey (12), Sri Lanka (10) and other countries.

Faced with an influx of migrants, Lithuania has been recently beefing up the protection of the Lithuanian-Belarusian border, involving members of other services, including officers on a mission from Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, who are set to join Lithuanian border guards in patrolling Lithuania’s border with Belarus.