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Climbing guide estimates there are more than 100 COVID-19 cases on Mount Everest

Mount Everest
(Jasper Chamber/iStock)

A Mount Everest climbing guide estimated that there have been more than 100 coronavirus cases on the summit this year.

“I think with all the confirmed cases we know now — confirmed from (rescue) pilots, from insurance, from doctors, from expedition leaders — I have the positive tests so we can prove this,” Lukas Furtenbach, managing director of Furtenbach Adventures, told The Associated Press.

“We have at least 100 people minimum positive for COVID in base camp, and then the numbers might be something like 150 or 200,” added Furtenbach, who became the first this year to cancel a climbing expedition on Mount Everest due to COVID-19.

The numbers have spiked since last week when Furtenbach canceled the expedition due to 51 people testing positive for the virus.

However, Nepalese officials have said the outbreak is not as bad as it has been reported. China has closed its side of Mount Everest over fears that the coronavirus cases from the Nepalese side could spread, according to the AP.

The outbreak was spurred by some members on the team not taking precautions before the expedition and holding parties, Furtenbach said.

Other teams on the mountain have said they are going to push to get to the top of the mountain before the end of the month when climbing season ends despite Furtenbach finding at least two positive COVID-19 cases amid another team, the AP noted.

The mountain was closed last year due to the pandemic.

Nepal has had over 497,000 reported coronavirus cases and over 6,000 deaths.

Tags coronavirus Mount Everest

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