Kathmandu [Nepal], May 7 (ANI): The Nepal government has refuted reports of the COVID-19 outbreak at Mount Everest and other mountain base camps, as the second wave of pandemic sweeps the Himalayan nation.
In a press statement on Friday, Nepal's Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation stated that no cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed at Mount Everest.
"Concerned Communication Officers has been assigned and stationed in the area. Communication officers are in contact with the group leaders and have been constantly surveilling situation there. They haven't confirmed any [COVID-19] cases or condition of existing threat out there," the ministry stated.
The ministry has urged media outlets to only disseminate information that comes from official channels as other reports might create panic and fear amongst climbers as well as their families.
The ministry's remarks come despite over a dozen climbers have been evacuated in the last few weeks from Everest Base Camp to capital Kathmandu, after they develop symptoms like COVID-19. They were later tested positive for COVID-19.
Norwegian climber Erlend Ness was amongst the first to confirm that he along with his team members have tested positive for the virus after undergoing tests in Kathmandu.
Initially, it was believed that Ness had pulmonary edema, a condition where the air sacs in the lungs fill with fluid that is often associated with altitude sickness.
Ness had tested negative prior to departing from Norway and again while quarantining in Kathmandu before heading to the base camp.
This year Nepal has issued record permits to 745 climbers despite the ravaging pandemic.
After Everest, Dhaulagiri Base Camp earlier this week have had reported cases of COVID-19 where many of the climbers have claimed to be tested positive for the virus. (ANI)