China to set up ‘Line of Separation’ on Mt. Everest over COVID fears

China is soon to set up a “separation line” on the peak of Mount Everest in a bid to prevent the mingling of climbers from COVID-hit Nepal and those ascending from the Tibetan side, after dozens were taken ill from the summit’s base camp. As per the reports from Chinese state media, the step of setting up a separation line by the country is termed as a precautionary measure to avoid possible COVID-19 infections by climbers.

This decision by Chinese authorities came when more than 30 sick climbers were evacuated from base camp on the Nepalese side of the world’s highest peak in recent weeks. With Nepal is facing a deadly second wave of COVID-19, fears are being raised that the virus might ruin the bumper climbing season.

Therefore, the Chinese authorities in a press conference said that they would take the “most stringent epidemic prevention measures” to avoid contact between climbers on the north and south slopes or at the top of the mountain. In order to prevent contact between the mountaineers from both sides of the peak, a small team of Tibetan climbing guides will be sent to Everest to set up the dividing lines at the summit.

Till now, there is no official statement regarding what these dividing lines would be made of.

China since last year has banned foreign nationals from climbing Everest due to the outbreak of the pandemic. But as per various sources, Nepal on the other hand has issued a record number of climbing permits to save its tourism sector as an Everest permit alone from Nepal costs $11,000 and climbers pay upwards of $40,000 for an expedition.

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