May 9: The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation has clarified there is no health safety risks at Everest Base Camp.
The ministry said in a statement that its attention has been drawn towards the recent news reports that some members of the Everest expedition teams for the spring season had tested positive for Covid-19, raising fears of a serious outbreak.
“There is no such risk at Everest Base Camp as claimed by some media,’’ the state-owned national news agency RSS reported citing the ministry.
Some domestic and international media recently published reports claiming that the virus had spread at the base camp and climbers faced great risk of infection.
According to the ministry, 774 people of 86 expedition teams from 79 countries have acquired permission for climbing Everest this season and they all have followed the health safety protocols to the possible extent.
Spokesperson of the ministry, Taranath Adhikari, said that a liaison officer has been mobilized to oversee activities of each expedition team and report any important incident and information relating to the pandemic.
“Based on the available information, we can say there is no such infection risk at Everest Base Camp as reported in media,” he said.
The ministry has urged one and all not to entertain and disseminate unreliable and unverified information, creating fears among members of the expedition teams and their families and to follow information provided by official sources.
A Covid-19 crisis facilitation and coordination unit has been formed under the coordination of joint-secretary Buddisagar Lamichhane to make arrangements for the rescue of any climber and trekker in adverse situation and escort her/him to the destination safely.
The climbing for this season has officially kicked off with Kami Rita Sherpa successfully reaching the top of Everest at 18:00 pm on Friday (May 7) as a leader of rope fixing team, along with 11 other Sherpas (icefall doctors). This is a record 25th ascent of Everest by Kami Rita Sherpa.