Annually after Mount Everest was closed to climbers as the pandemic swept across the planet, hundreds are creating the final push to the summit with only a few more days left in the season, stating they’re undeterred by a coronavirus outbreak in base camp.
Three trip groups to Everest canceled their climb this month following reports of people getting ill. However, the rest 41 teams made a decision to continue with hundreds of climbers and their manuals scaling the 8,849-meter (29,032-foot) top at the summer that ends in May, before bad weather sets in.
“Even though the coronavirus has reached the Everest base camp, it has not made any huge effect like what is being considered outside of the mountain,” said Mingma Sherpa of Summit Treks, the biggest expedition operator on Everest. “No one has really fallen badly sick because of COVID or expired like the rumors that have been spreading.”
With 122 customers from 10 teams on Everest, the company led the biggest bunch but there were no severe ailments, ” he explained.
Nepalese officials have downplayed reports of coronavirus cases on Mount Everest, seemingly out of concern of creating chaos and confusion at the base camp. After a gap of no income from climbers, Nepal has been eager to cash in on this year’s time.
“Many people made it into the bottom camp and it’s likely that the people who moved there from here could have been infected,” Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli said. “But that does not necessarily mean that it (coronavirus) has attained the entire mountain, perhaps part of the base camp or the area below that.”
He was flown by helicopter to Kathmandu, where he was treated and later returned home.
Prominent guide Lukas Furtenbach of Austria decided to stop his expedition this month and pull his clients because of an outbreak among staff members.