China and Nepal have canceled an upcoming climbing season on both sides of Mount Everest to stop the worldwide spread of acute pneumonia.
Recently, the China Mountaineering Association announced that no one is allowed to climb to the northern peak of Mount Everest, which is controlled by China this spring.
Monica Piris, an experienced explorer at Mount Everest, said the Covid-19 epidemic spread to the town of Khumbu (located near the foot of Mount Everest) would become unpredictable. In fact, even during the disease-free days, many tourists became ill after a long trip from the town of Khumbu to the Everest base camp because it did not have adequate facilities and medical facilities. International.
Dr Monica Piris said: “If you are a virus, go to Khumbu because this is a paradise for disease transmission. You will come in contact with a large number of people from all over the world. They all gathered, ate at the same time, at the same table. Even the personal hygiene here is limited because there is not enough tap water. ”
According to the Kathmandu Post , after the Chinese announcement, Nepal also made a decision late at night on March 12, canceling all mountain climbing adventures in the spring, including those to Everest. In addition, the government temporarily stopped issuing tourist visas to the country. The visa suspension will take effect on March 14 and last until April 30.
Mountaineering tourism plays an important role in Nepal’s economy. Individual climbers alone have contributed more than $ 300 million to the country. The decision to stop all climbing adventures will deal a blow to the local community economy and to the families who rely on the tourism industry.
“A tourist provides income for 11 households here,” said Jiban Ghimire, tour operator of Shangri-La Nepal Trek in Kathmandu. Speculating about the impact of the Everest closure, he said: “Everything will be difficult. It’s hard to describe. We haven’t seen the damage right now but it will certainly have a huge impact.” .
According to Ghimire, the biggest blow is for families that own motels, teahouses and shops because their income depends entirely on tourists.
“The government makes a few million dollars, but 90% of this money goes directly to the people. The mountain tourism industry helps to pay for food, living expenses, or school fees … for each family,” Ghimire said. If the Everest ceases to operate, many people will be unemployed. “