Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak, doesn’t seem to be safe from Covid-19, with reports emerging of multiple climbers testing positive at the base camp in Nepal. The first Covid-19 case at the base camp this year was detected in late April. However, the Nepali government has maintained that there are no infections in the Everest base camp.
According to The Washington Post, the Nepal Mountaineering Association has confirmed only four Covid-19 cases at the base camp — three climbers and one local guide. However, Polish climber Pawel Michalski wrote last week that “more than 30 people have already been evacuated to Kathmandu in helicopters with suspected pulmonary edema — later found to be positive for coronavirus”. Rojita Adhikari, a climber who tested positive a few days after she left the base camp on April 19, said there were several unreported cases. Nepali government rules preventing mountaineers from sharing photos of other climbers without consent have restricted information coming from the mountain, but rumors are spreading of more cases — and not just on Everest. At least 19 people have been evacuated from climbing camps on the world’s seventh-highest peak — Dhaulagiri — 345 kilometers (214 miles) west of Everest, according to Mingma Sherpa, chairman of tour operator Seven Summits Trek.