The transmission of Covid-19 on Mount Everest has increased. At least 30 climbers were evacuated after being identified as positive for Covid-19.
Nepal reopened hiking trails earlier this year after being closed due to the Corona virus. But apparently the decision was disastrous, there were climbers who were positive for Corona .. Not just one person but dozens of climbers who were positive for Corona.
Initially, the Nepalese government covered up the transmission of Covid-19 on the Mount Everest hiking trail. However, news of the spread of Covid-19 began to spread when a climber from Norway, Erland Ness, was evacuated by helicopter after testing positive for Covid-19 last week.
“When I tested positive, I was very shocked. At that time, I realized that I could not continue the expedition. My dream is to reach the top and see the view,” said Ness. CNN.
Since news about Ness broke out, a climber from Poland, Pawel Michalski, said dozens of Mount Everest climbers had tested positive in recent times.
“More than 30 people have been evacuated by propeller plane to Kathmandu with symptoms of pulmonary edema, then tested positive for corona,” wrote Michalski on Facebook.
Aid organizations on Mount Everest, ER, even reported that a number of climbers are self-isolating in tents.
Now, rumors are circulating that the Covid-19 case on Mount Everest is actually high. However, the Nepalese government prohibits climbers from uploading photos of Mount Everest without permission, making it difficult for outsiders to know the real conditions there.
The head of the Seven Summits Trek tour operator, Mingma Sherpa, stated that they had already served the evacuation of at least 19 people from Mount Everest.
Of the 19 people, seven of them tested positive for the Corona virus. Meanwhile, 12 other people are undergoing tests after experiencing symptoms of Covid-19.
Nepal Army spokesman, Santosh Ballave Paudel, said that three cleaning employees at the Dhaulgari Hiking Camp tested positive for Covid-19.
One of the three employees was evacuated on Wednesday (5/5). Two other employees will be evacuated once the weather improves.
In the midst of this news, the leader of the Mount Everest expedition, Lukas Furtenbach, said the climbers feared the Nepalese government would close the climbing route again.
“My prediction is that there will be more cases. Everyone is worried there will be a message from the Ministry of Tourism saying, ‘You have to go home,'” said Furtenbach.
The route for climbing Mount Everest has become one of the concerns during the Covid-19 pandemic. The route is one of the major sources of income for Nepal’s tourism sector.
Before the pandemic hit, Nepal made a profit of up to USD 2 billion thanks to the opening of the Mount Everest hiking trail throughout 2018.
Nepal’s tourism industry took a hit when the government decided to close hiking trails due to the pandemic in 2020.
When the Nepalese government reopened the hiking trail in early 2021, the Ministry of Tourism immediately granted permission for 408 climbers of Mount Everest.
This number has increased from only 393 climbers in 2019. In 2019 alone, this number is already quite large, to the point that the hiking trail is reported to be very full.
According to the climbers, the climbing posts on Mount Everest are very narrow. With the increase in the number of climbers, it was very difficult to enforce the rules of keeping distance.
The opening of the route for climbing Mount Everest also worries a number of parties, especially since Nepal is experiencing a spike in Covid-19 cases.
According to Nepalese health officials, they are currently experiencing a 57 percent increase in Covid-19 cases compared to last month.
“What is happening in India right now is a picture of what could happen in Nepal in the future if we cannot contain the spread of the coronavirus, which is killing people every minute,” said Nepal Red Cross chairman, Netra Prasad Timsina.
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(fem / fem)