AGENCIES, Beijing/Kathmandu: Climbers who had permits for Mount Everest are in for a disappointment as China has cancelled permits for Mount Everest citing coronavirus. This fact was confirmed by expedition organisers on Thursday.
In 2019, a record was set with 885 climbing the Mt Everest from both Northern and Southern sides — 644 did it from Nepal and 241 climbers from the northern flank in Tibet.
Lukas Furtenbach of Austria-based Furtenbach Adventures told media agencies that the Chinese authorities had informed them that the mountain would be closed from the north side.
However, the Nepal (Southern side of Mt Everest) remains open for now although some expedition operators have seen cancellations and climbers have been asked to submit a 14-day travel history and medical reports.
The overall impact on climbers is yet to be ascertained as the majority of Everest expeditions are conducted on the southern side of the mountain each year. The fear is that if COVID-19 outbreak is not contained then there could be a possibility that Nepal may follow China decision. Till now, Nepal Government has reported one case of coronavirus and 71 people have been put in quarantine after they returned to the country following Chinese New Year celebrations in Chengdu and Beijing. Visitors from China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, and Japan must secure their visas in their home country before arriving in Nepal. A similar restriction will go into effect for travellers coming from France, Germany, and Spain starting on March 13.