World China to create 'line of separation' at Everest summit on COVID fears
Covid cases at Everest raise fears of outbreak
Climbers say a growing number of people have tested positive, despite government denials.Base camp officials said they had received reports of 17 confirmed cases from hospitals in the capital Kathmandu, where a number of climbers have been sent from the base camp and higher camps to be treated.
BEIJING (Reuters) - China will 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 reported on Sunday.
Everest base camp on the Nepalese side has been hit by coronavirus cases since late April. The Nepalese government, starved of tourism revenue, has yet to cancel the spring climbing season, usually from April to early June before the monsoon rains.
Sherpa guide scales Mount Everest for record 25th time
KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — A Sherpa guide scaled Mount Everest for the 25th time on Friday, breaking his own record for the most ascents of the world’s highest peak. Kami Rita and 11 other Sherpa guides reached the summit at about 6 p.m., Department of Tourism official Mira Acharya said. They are the first group of climbers to reach the summit this year and were fixing the ropes on the icy route so that hundreds of other climbers can scale the peak later this month. Everest was closed to climbing last year on both its southern side, which is in Nepal, and its northern side, which is in China, because of the coronavirus pandemic.
It was not immediately clear how the line would be enforced on the summit, a tiny, perilous and inhospitable area the size of a dining table.
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, Xinhua news agency reported, citing the head of Tibet's sports bureau.
A group of 21 Chinese nationals are en route to the summit on the Tibetan side, Xinhua reported.
The Tibetan guides will set up the separation line ahead of their arrival, the state-run news agency said, without describing what the line would look like.
It was also unclear whether the Tibetan guides would be the ones enforcing the "separation", or whether they would remain in the so-called death zone, where many lives have been lost due to a dearth of oxygen, to hold the line.
EU calls on US to push exports to counter vaccine shortage
PORTO, Portugal (AP) — The European Union called on the United States Friday to start boosting its vaccine exports to contain the global COVID-19 crisis, and said that the U.S. backing of patent waivers would provide only a long-term solution at best. “We invite all those who engage in the debate of a waiver for (Intellectual Property) rights also to join us to commit to be willing to export a large share of what is being produced in that region,” said EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
The top of the 8,848-metre peak is a small mound of snow with barely enough space for half a dozen climbers and guides at any one time.
China has not allowed any foreign climbers to ascend from the Tibetan side since the outbreak of the new coronavirus last year due to infection concerns.
Tourists in the Everest scenic area in Tibet are also banned from visiting the base camp on the Tibetan side.
Mainland China on Sunday reported 12 new COVID-19 cases on May 8 - all of which involved travellers arriving from overseas - up from seven a day earlier. Nepal reported 9,023 new cases on Friday, the country's biggest one-day increase.
(Reporting by Ryan Woo; Editing by Giles Elgood)
China cancels Everest climbs over fears of virus from Nepal .
BEIJING (AP) — China has canceled attempts to climb Mount Everest from its side of the world's highest peak because of fears of importing COVID-19 cases from neighboring Nepal, state media reported. The closure was confirmed in a notice Friday from China’s General Administration of Sport, the official Xinhua News Agency said. The move reflects the abundance of caution China has taken in dealing with the pandemic. While China has mostly curbed domestic transmission of the coronavirus, Nepal is experiencing a surge with record numbers of new infections and deaths. © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Nov. 12, 2015, file photo, Mt.