Coronavirus, Visit

Mount Everest Closed Over Coronavirus Outbreak

What started as a disease from the city of Wuhan in China turned into a global pandemic within a span of just three months forcing countries across the world to take emergency measures. Taking cues from the centre of academic Wuhan, which first implemented the idea of total lockdown, various other nations are now shutting borders and encouraging self-isolation in a bid to contain the deadly virus. 

As the virus spreads very fast from human to human transmission, experts and authorities have been urging people to practice quarantine, self-isolation and social distancing. While most industries have been hit by the pandemic, the travel industry is undoubtedly the most affected. Here is how the coronavirus outbreak has affected and will affect travel. After widespread closure of hotels, airlines, resorts and tourist spots, even Everest had to be closed for climbers in a bid to contain the spread of the virus.

Everest closed

Nepal recently announced that it is shutting down all expeditions on Mount Everest for the rest of this year’s climbing season amid the worsening global pandemic. The move followed reports that the Chinese government has shut the Tibet side of the mountain. “Expeditions to Mount Everest have been closed with immediate effect. Climbing permits are cancelled till the end of May,” Nepal’s Tourism Secretary Kedar Bahadur Adhikari said.

Heading to mountains can be specifically problematic while coronavirus is at its peak in several parts of the world. Breathing is hampered by the extreme altitudes on the mountain and as the outbreak of the coronavirus causes respiratory problems, it could have been particularly devastating at an Everest base camp.

World in the grip of COVID-19 fear

Meanwhile, Coronavirus, scientifically termed as COVID-19, has claimed as many as 17,451 lives across the world while the number of confirmed cases reached 400,412. While China, the first country to battle the novel virus, is gradually returning to normalcy after a decline in new cases, Italy and Iran are bearing the brunt of the pandemic the most at present. 

With more than 63,927 confirmed cases and more than 6,077 fatalities, Italy is currently the second-worst affected country followed by USA with more than 48,778 confirmed cases. As the virus spreads from human-to-human transmissions, governments and health officials have been urging people to self-isolate themselves and avoid social interactions in a bid to contain the further spread of the novel coronavirus. 

(Curated by Priya Pareek)