Covid-19 Reaches Mt Everest after Norwegian Climber Tests Positive

epa08869820 (FILE) - Tents stand in the Everest Base Camp of the mountaineers in Nepal, 07 April 2017 (reissued 08 December 2020). Nepal and China have agreed on a new official height for Mount Everest. The height of the world's highest peak is now given as 8,848.86 meters. In the past two years, China and Nepal have sent teams to take measurements at the summit in the border area. EPA-EFE/Balazs Mohai HUNGARY OUT

A Norwegian climber hoping to summit Everest confirmed on Thursday that he has tested positive for Covid-19, in a blow to Nepal’s hopes for a bumper mountaineering season on the world’s highest peak.

The pandemic wiped out last year’s season but Nepal has eased quarantine rules in an effort to attract more climbers despite the difficulties of treating them if they contract the virus. “My diagnosis is Covid-19,” Erlend Ness told AFP in a Facebook message.

“I’m doing ok now… The hospital is taking care (of me).” Ness was evacuated from the slopes by helicopter and taken to a hospital in the Nepali capital Kathmandu after spending time at Everest base camp.

Norwegian broadcaster NRK, which interviewed him, reported that a sherpa in his party had also tested positive.

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