Kathmandu, Nepal, May 10, 2021:Speculations are rife that northern neighbor China would set up ‘a line of separation’ at the summit of Mount Everest to prevent the mingling of climbers from COVID-hit Nepal and those ascending from the Tibetan side as a precautionary measure.
Chinese state media, Xinhua news agency, has reported on Sunday citing the head of Tibet’s sports bureau that a small team of Tibetan climbing guides will ascend Everest and set up the line of separation at the summit to stop any contact between mountaineers from both sides of the peak.
However, neither such a line of separation is created yet nor the Chinese authorities have informed officially to this effect, Nepalese officials have said. According to the media reports, the Tibetan guides would set up a separation line ahead of the arrival of a team of Chinese officials on the summit.
Though the 8,848.86-metre Everest straddles Nepal and China and the summit can be reached from both countries, China has not allowed any foreign climbers to ascend from the Tibetan side since the Covid-19 outbreak last year. However, the media report has stated that a group of 21 Chinese nationals are en route to the summit on the Tibetan side to create the line of separation.
As Nepal is hit hard by the coronavirus infections, Everest base camp was also hit by a case of coronavirus infection since last April. Nepal government has not canceled the spring climbing season, which usually falls from April to early June, owing the nominal cases of infections.