Mount Everest now closed for climbers because of the fears of deadly coronavirus, Nepal Government announced.
Reuters reported that Nepal has closed all of its Himalayan peaks including Mount Everest this climbing season.
Nepal has eight of the world’s 14 highest mountains including Mount Everest, that more than four million dollars in permit fees for the world’s highest peak and other mountains every year.
Tourism Minister Yogesh Bhattarai said expeditions to all peaks in the March-May spring season suspended.
“Climbing this season closed,” Bhattarai told Reuters.
“It is as a precaution for that,” he added, when asked it its was because of the coronavirus.
Coronavirus Cases in Nepal
Nepal confirmed just one case of the coronavirus – a student studying in China on a trip home – out of 450 people tested.
The suspension of expeditions in Nepal will affect hundreds of foreign climbers now preparing for the spring season, a window or relatively good weather between the end of the bitterly cold winter and the rainy season, which begins in June.
Everest, the world’s highest mountain at 8,850 metres (29,035 feet), is on the border between Nepal and the Chinese region of Tibet. China announced the closure of its side of the mountain on Thursday.
It is the second time in recent years that the climbing season has been disrupted. Expeditions suspended in 2015 after a major earthquake struck Nepal on April 25 that year, killing some 9,000 people.
Eighteen people killed at the Everest base camp when an avalanche triggered by the quake roared down a slope.
“This is disappointing news for both our expedition leaders and our clients who have trained for months for this year’s climb,” Lukas Furtenbach, of the California-based guiding company Furtenbach Adventure, said.
Furthermore Adrian Ballinger of the Alpenglow Expeditions company said he understood the decision.