Chinese authorities have decided to set up a “dividing line” on the summit of Mount Everest to prevent local climbers from coming into contact with other moun
tain climbers from Nepal. The decision came less than a week after climbers and authorities at the base camp in Nepal, located at an altitude of more than five thousand kilometers, warned of a sharp increase in cases of coronavirus among climbers.
Everest is on the border between China and Nepal, and climbers are climbing it from both sides. It is not yet clear how China will enforce these rules on the mountain, the BBC reported. The summit of Mount Everest is a snow dome that can hold no more than six people at a time, and on busy days, climbers have to stand in line to access it. A team of Tibetan climbing guides is sent to the summit to set up a dividing line. It will be placed before the arrival of a group of Chinese climbers who are currently on their way to the Everest dome.
Climbers from the Chinese side will not be allowed to make contact with anyone from the Nepalese side, nor will they be allowed to touch the objects placed on the summit. It is unclear whether Tibetan guides will remain in the area to enforce the res
trictions. The director of the Tibetan Sports Bureau told Chinese state media that climbers from the north and south sides of the mountai
n can only make contact at the summit.
Tourists without permission are currently banned from entering the Chinese base camp, and the
country has banned foreign nationals from climbing the mountain. But Nepal, which relies heavily on income from Everest expeditions, has issued 408 permits to foreign climbers to climb the mountain this season. Since late April, more than 30 infected climbers have been evacuated from the Nepalese side and flown by helicopter to Kathmandu. The daily number of cases in Nepal has risen sharply in the past three weeks, with two out of five people tested positive, AFP reported. There are now more than 394,667 cases of coronavirus infection and 3,720 deaths in the country.