The second wave of Coronavirus is spreading rapidly across South Asia – brutally infecting India and its neighbours. Nepal for instance, which has a population of about 30 million people, has begun to record over 2,000 new cases per day.
The COVID situation in Nepal reached a new symbolic peak when a climber who had travelled to the country to climb Mount Everest was urgently evacuated from the base camp back to Kathmandu only to test positive for the deadly virus, NDTV reported on Friday. The name of the Norwegian climber remains undisclosed.
In a bid to revive its COVID-hit economy, Nepal recently opened its borders to foreign climbers aiming to scale Mount Everest during the spring climbing season — because the world’s highest peak in the Himalayas is a major source of tourism and revenues for the country.
The tourism ministry of Nepal, earlier this week, issued permits for 377 climbers seeking to complete the prestigious hike to Everest’s summit.
On 22 April, the climber, who was rushed to a hospital in Kathmandu via helicopter — complained of what seemed like high-altitude pulmonary edema – which occurs in people at high altitudes, typically above 2,500 meters (8,200 ft). The base camp of the Everest Summit is at an altitude of 5,364 metres (17,598 ft) – hence symptoms such as headaches, breathlessness and dry cough are common among climbers.
Upon reaching the hospital, the climber tested positive for Coronavirus.
In a report, The New York Times claimed that there had in fact been other climbers as well who were flown back from the Everest Base camp but details about them have not been revealed by Nepal officials.