Nepal on Friday suspended issuing permits to people eager to climb Mount Everest due to the massive outbreak of coronavirus.
Nepal tourism minister Yogesh Bhattarai said that the country has stopped climbing expeditions on all mountains in the country and stopped issuing tourist visas.
“The government has decided to suspend all spring expeditions and scrap permits for the time being. The decision can be reviewed after analysing the global scenario over the coming month,” Bhattarai said.
According to the Kathmandu Post, Nepal earns four million dollars by issuing Everest climbing permits every year, aside from wider tourism revenue.
Nepal’s announcement of cancelling all climbing expeditions came a day after China too decided to suspend climbing expeditions on the north side of Mount Everest in Tibet during the spring climbing season of 2020.
According to the Tibet Mountaineering Association, if a climber is infected with COVID-19 the high altitude and rough terrain of Mount Everest would make it difficult for him to get appropriate treatment.
Meanwhile, over 125,000 people have been diagnosed with Covid-19 in 118 countries around the world, according to the World Health Organization.