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Nepal Gives Permit To 160 Climbers To Summit Two Himalayan Mountains Amid COVID-19

Despite the COVID-19 outbreak, the Nepalese Department of Tourism said on Monday that 160 mountaineers have been granted permission to climb 2 Himalayan peaks.


Picture Credit: Unsplash

Despite the COVID-19 outbreak, Nepal's Department of Tourism informed on Monday, 6 September that 160 mountaineers have received permission to climb two Himalayan peaks in the fall season. 157 climbers from 15 teams got permits for Mt. Manaslu, the world's eighth-highest peak at 8,163 metres, while a three-member team will scale Mt. Kanchenjunga, the world's third-highest peak at 8,516 metres (8,586m).

According to Xinhua, Bhisma Raj Bhattarai, section officer at the department, said in a statement that the large number of mountaineers seeking climbing permits for the autumn season suggests that despite the risk of contracting COVID, climbers are drawn to Nepal's Himalayan mountains.

Even though Nepal has not been providing on-arrival visas for foreign tourists since the outbreak of the second wave of COVID-19 in April, a substantial number of mountaineers are arriving in Nepal to climb the mountains, according to the officer. The majority of climbers were planning to summit Mt. Manaslu during the fall season, which began this month.

Mountain expedition in Nepal

A Nepal based firm, Himalaya Vision Treks & Expedition Pvt. Ltd, is planning a Mt. Manaslu expedition for a group of mountaineers. Subash Kumar Shrestha, the company's director, said that they are preparing an expedition for ten climbers, all from Europe, after they acquired climbing licences. Many mountaineers visited Nepal in the spring of this year to climb the mountains, despite Nepal's large Coronavirus outbreak, he said. They can now visit Nepal without the risk of contracting COVID-19 because they have been immunised.

Unvaccinated international tourists are mandated to stay in complete isolation for ten days and undergo COVID-19 PCR test, as per the Nepali government's regulations. It will be necessary for properly vaccinated international tourists to undergo a PCR test.

Nepal's COVID tally

Nepal on Sunday logged COVID cases in 3 digits after months, taking the tally to 769,271, according to The Himalayan Times. In the meantime, cumulative Coronavirus recoveries have reached 727,185, with 1,534 discharges recorded on Monday. The countrywide COVID-19 death toll, on the other hand, rose to 10,838 with 20 additional deaths. According to the most recent data from the health ministry, 7,971 total tests were performed in the last 24 hours, with 5,170 PCR testing and 2,801 antigen tests, The Himalayan Times said. 

(Picture Credit: Unsplash)

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