At least one climber on Everest has tested positive for Covid-19, just weeks after the world’s tallest peak reopened to climbers following a year of closure.
Norwegian climber Erlend Ness has been isolated in hospital for eight nights due to the virus, he said.
Reports say a sherpa in his party had also tested positive for the virus.
The outbreak may be a blow to Nepal, which relies heavily on income generated from Everest expeditions.
Mr. Ness is unsure where he could have caught the virus, but raised the likelihood of catching it whilst in one among the tea houses along the Khumbu Valley.
He added that he could have “done more” to protect himself, such as being more diligent with hand washing and wearing a mask all day.
“Not many of us used masks on the trek,” recalled Mr. Ness, who had been feeling sick for about six days within the mountains before being evacuated on April 15 by helicopter.
He was taken to 2 different hospitals within the Nepali capital Kathmandu and tested positive for the virus 3 times.
He has since recovered – testing negative on April 22 – and is now staying with friends within the city.
Hundreds of foreign climbers are expected to aim the ascent this spring season, which began in April after the slopes were shut off thanks to the pandemic.
Aside from wider tourism revenue, Nepal earns $4m (£3.1m) by issuing Everest climbing permits per annum, consistent with the Kathmandu Post.
All travelers entering Nepal must present a negative Covid report, taken within 72 hours of their first flight, consistent with Nepal’s Department of Immigration.
Passengers from counties with new Covid variants will be subject to an additional 10 days of hotel quarantine. If a test comes back negative after five days, they’re going to be allowed to spend their remaining five days in-home quarantine.