Guide claims 100 COVID-19 cases on Mount Everest

Kathmandu: Even as Nepal officially denies a Covid-19 cluster on the world's highest peak, an expert climbing guide on Saturday claimed that a coronavirus outbreak on Mount Everest has infected at least 100 climbers and support staff. This is the first comprehensive estimate amid official Nepalese denials.

Lukas Furtenbach of Austria, who last week became the only prominent outfitter to halt his Everest expedition due to virus fears, said one of his foreign guides and six Nepali Sherpa guides have tested Covid-19 positive.

“I think with all the confirmed cases we know now — confirmed from (rescue) pilots, from insurance, from doctors, from expedition leaders — I have the positive tests so we can prove this,” Furtenbach told The Associated Press in Nepal's capital, Kathmandu. “We have at least 100 people with a minimum positive for Covid in base camp, and then the numbers might be something like 150 or 200,” he said.

He said it was obvious there were many cases at the Everest base camp because he could visibly see people were sick, and could hear people coughing in their tents.

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