China Stops Expeditions to Everest due to Transmission of the Coronavirus from Nepal
China has canceled expeditions to climb Mount Everest on its Chinese side due to concerns that KOVID-19 will not be imported from neighboring Nepal, the Associated Press reported, quoted by BTA.
The closure of the route was confirmed last night by the Chinese General Sports Administration, Xinhua news agency reported.
The decision reflects the extreme caution with which China treats the coronavirus. The country as a whole has mastered internal transmission of the pathogen, while Nepal has reported a record number of new infections and deaths.
Beijing has previously issued permits to 38 people, all Chinese citizens, to climb the world’s highest peak this spring. Nepal has issued permits to 408 people. Last year, climbing the 8849-meter peak was not allowed on either side due to the pandemic.
In Nepal, it was reported that several climbers tested positive for KOVID-19 after being removed from base camp at the foot of Everest.
May is usually the most favorable month for expeditions to the Himalayan highlands. Dozens of climbers have already reached the summit this week, and many more are expected to try to conquer it later in the month as the weather improves. Two climbers, a Swiss and an American, died on the Nepalese side.
China has previously announced its intention to establish a dividing line at the top and ban people climbing from its side from coming into contact with climbers from the Nepalese side. However, it was not clear how this could be achieved.
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