Story at a glance

  • A Chinese state media outlet reported Sunday that the government will implement a “line of separation” at the summit of Mount Everest as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19 from climbers from the Nepalese side.
  • Tibetan climbing guides will climb Mount Everest and establish the line, although it is not clear how China intends to enforce it, Xinhua news agency reported.
  • A base camp on the Nepalese side has been hard hit by COVID-19 since April, but the government has yet to shut it down.

A Chinese state media outlet reported Sunday that the government will implement a “line of separation” at the summit of Mount Everest to guard against the spread of COVID-19 from climbers ascending from both the Nepalese and Tibetan side. 

Tibetan guides will climb Mount Everest and establish the line, although it is not clear how China intends to enforce it, Xinhua news agency reported. The goal is to prevent contact between climbers from both sides. 

A group of 21 Chinese nationals will also head to the summit from the Tibetan side, according to the Xinhua news agency. 

A base camp on the Nepalese side has been hard hit by COVID-19 since April, but the government has yet to shut it down. 


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Everest watcher Alan Arnette said amid the April outbreak “it’s clear that there is or has been Covid at Everest base camp,” even if officials deny it. 

“Nepal tourism officials continue to deny there are any problems at base camp other than one person who had pneumonia. The guides, both foreign and domestic, are posting only climbing updates with no mention of the virus. This includes those who are well-known to have multiple cases within their teams and some who have been evacuated,” Arnette said. 

China has prohibited foreigner climbers from ascending on the Tibetan side since the beginning of the pandemic, according to Reuters.

Nepal reported 9,127 new COVID-19 cases on May 11, data from the World Health Organization shows. The country saw a 79.2 percent increase in cases in the seven-day period ending May 3. Overall, more than 3,800 people have died from COVID-19 in Nepal.


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Published on May 11, 2021