A Norwegian climber has announced that he tested positive for COVID-19 at the base camp on Mount Everest’s south side in Nepal, dealing a blow to the South Asian nation ahead of the peak climbing season on the world’s highest peak.
Last year’s season was ruined by the pandemic, but Nepal has relaxed quarantine rules in an attempt to draw more climbers.
In a Facebook message to the AFP news agency, Erlend Ness said, “My diagnosis is COVID-19.” “I’m doing well now… The hospital is looking after me.”
After spending time at Everest base camp, the Norweigan was allegedly evacuated from the slopes by helicopter and taken to a hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital.
“I sincerely hope that none of the others in the mountains become contaminated with corona. When you’re above 8,000 meters [26,246 feet], it’s difficult to evacuate people with a helicopter,” Ness told NRK.
“The intention was to get high up in the mountains as quickly as possible to ensure that we wouldn’t get sick… I was unfortunate, and I should have done better on my own in terms of sanitary precautions,” Ness added.
One hospital in Kathmandu confirmed that it had taken in Everest coronavirus patients, but could not provide a number.
Prativa Pandey, the medical director at Kathmandu’s CIWEC Hospital, said, “I can’t share the specifics but some evacuated from Everest have tested positive.”
COVID-19 has not been recorded among climbers, according to Mira Acharya, a spokesperson for Nepal’s tourism department.
“On April 15, an individual was evacuated, but we learned that he has pneumonia and is being treated in isolation. She said, “That is all the information we have got.”