The highest point in the world will gain a dividing line. The Chinese government announced on Sunday (9) its intention to create a physical barrier atop Mount Everest, on the country’s border with Nepal.
The purpose of the measure is to prevent climbers on one side from coming into contact with those on the other, thereby hampering transmission of the coronavirus in the region. There is currently no physical partition for climbers.
The news was confirmed by Nyima Tsering, who heads the portfolio responsible for regulating Everest’s activities on the Chinese side, to the state-run Xinhua news agency. The official did not give details of how the barrier would work or the deadline for its installation.
The top of the mountain, where the border between the two countries is, is over 8,800 meters above sea level.
Traditionally, climbers from both sides have met in this space, but China wants to prevent this from happening as the neighbor is currently experiencing a second wave of coronavirus.
Nepal recorded 88 deaths from the disease on Sunday, a pandemic record. The number of new daily cases, which had not reached 200 at the start of April, now stands at nearly 9,000. In total, the country of 28 million people has recorded 403,794 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 3,859 deaths. .
Due to the pandemic, climbing Everest has been banned since last year, but recently the Nepalese government relaxed the activity.
So far 408 climbers have been allowed to attempt to climb on the Nepalese side this year, a record. On the Chinese side, there were only 21 such permits.
According to the New York Times, the camp where the climbers stayed in Nepal before completing the ascent had an outbreak of coronavirus and many climbers were infected – dozens of people had to be rescued by helicopter and taken to hospitals in the capital, Kathmandu, after showing symptoms. while climbing the mountain.
For this reason, the Chinese government has also announced more protective measures, including the installation of a checkpoint at the exit of its base camp. From now on, climbers and their guides will have to cross the site and, if contamination is suspected, they will have to remain isolated before being released to leave the mountain.