China to set up separation line on Mount Everest over Covid-19 fears

a flock of birds standing on top of a snow covered mountain: Mount Everest straddles the China-Nepal border, with the north slope belonging to China © PRAKASH MATHEMA Mount Everest straddles the China-Nepal border, with the north slope belonging to China

China will set up a "separation line" on the peak of Mount Everest to avoid possible Covid-19 infections by climbers from virus-hit Nepal, state media reported, after dozens were taken ill from the summit's base camp.

While the virus first emerged in China in late 2019, it has largely been brought under control in the country through a series of strict lockdowns and border closures.

Over 30 sick climbers were evacuated from base camp on the Nepalese side of the world's highest peak in recent weeks as Nepal faces a deadly second wave, raising fears that the virus might ruin a bumper climbing season.

Mount Everest straddles the China-Nepal border, with the north slope belonging to China. 

Tibetan authorities told reporters at a press conference they would take the "most stringent epidemic prevention measures" to avoid contact between climbers on the north and south slopes or at the top, reported the official Xinhua news agency on Sunday.

Mountain guides will set up dividing lines on the summit of the mountain before allowing mountaineers to start the gruelling climb up, the head of the Tibet Mountaineering Association was quoted as saying by Xinhua.


Video: More than 30 sick climbers have been evacuated from the foot of Mount Everest (AFP)

China to set up separation line on Mount Everest over Covid-19 fears