Covid-19 scales Mt Everest: At least 30 evacuated in recent weeks

Published on May 08, 2021 02:52 AM IST
Nepal’s tourism industry suffered a devastating blow last year when the pandemic prompted a complete shutdown of its summits, costing millions in lost revenue.
Officials at a clinic near the camp say more than 30 people have been flown off the camp in recent weeks. In picture - Mount Everest during sunset in Solukhumbu District also known as the Everest region.(Reuters)
Officials at a clinic near the camp say more than 30 people have been flown off the camp in recent weeks. In picture - Mount Everest during sunset in Solukhumbu District also known as the Everest region.(Reuters)
Agencies | , Everest Base Camp

More than 30 sick climbers have been evacuated from the foot of Mount Everest, raising fears that coronavirus may scupper a hoped-for bumper season on the world’s highest mountain.

Nepal’s tourism industry suffered a devastating blow last year when the pandemic prompted a complete shutdown of its summits, costing millions in lost revenue.

This year authorities have eased rules to lure back foreign adventurers and have issued climbing permits to more than 400 people, a new record. But the warmer weather that ushers in safer conditions for scaling Nepal’s snow-capped peaks has coincided with a deadly second wave of Covid-19 infections, with active cases in the country rising six-fold in the last two weeks.

Norwegian climber Erlend Ness spent two nights sleeping in his tent at base camp last month, unsure of what was making him ill.

“I was evacuated to Kathmandu and was tested. My result was positive for Covid,” he told AFP. “I think I’m not the only one...” he said.

Fellow climber Gina Marie Han-Lee decided to abandon her expedition last week over fears the disease was spreading around base camp, she said on Facebook on April 29.

Officials at a clinic near the camp say more than 30 people have been flown off the camp in recent weeks. But the government has denied that any Covid-19 case was confirmed on Everest.

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