Everest climbers could have spread so-called ‘Nepal variant’ of coronavirus globally: Daily Mail reports

KATHMANDU: Though the World Health Organisation (WHO) has already denied detection of any ‘Nepal variant’ of the coronavirus, Daily Mail, a British newspaper published in London, has alleged that Everest (Sagarmatha) climbers could have spread the so-called Nepal variant of coronavirus, which Daily Mail claims is potentially more infectious and vaccine resistant.

In its new report published on June 3, the UK-based tabloid stated ‘a potentially vaccine resistant coronavirus variant that is being linked to Nepal could have been spread by climbers travelling home from Mount Everest.’ “Scientists believe Nepal is the most likely origin of the strain, because of its similarities to the Indian variant and the detection of so many cases on flights from the Himalayan nation,” states the news report.

As stated by Daily Mail, Dr Jeffrey Barrett, a director at the UK’s largest Covid surveillance centre the Wellcome Sanger Institute, revealed that the strain had been spotted in the Japanese travellers returning from Nepal.

The spring mountaineering season to climb Everest was closed on June 3 with thousands of expeditioners visiting Nepal to scale up the world’s tallest peak. The Daily Mail have charged that these Everest expeditioners could have spread the the so-called Nepal variant of coronavirus across the world, including UK.

Mira Acharya, director at the Department of Tourism, the agency responsible for issuing climbing permits, said that Everest expedition permits for 2021 spring season had been issued only to climbers whose Covid-19 test resulted negative. Moreover, she informed that no climbers had to be rescued during their summit for coronavirus-related reasons. “It shows that neither were climbers infected when leaving for Everest nor were they got infected during their summit. But if they got infected after returning from Everest expedition, that is not within our record,” said Acharya.

This year, amid Covid-19 pandemic, Nepal issued a record 408 climbing permits. With each climber hiring one guide, the total number of climbers was expected to be more than 800.

Meanwhile, Nepali fraternity has criticized news report published by Daily Mail regarding Nepal variant of coronavirus and Everest climbers spreading the virus amid WHO already denying detection of any such variants in Nepal.


Fiscal Nepal |
Friday June 4, 2021, 01:01:05 PM |

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