KATHMANDU, MAY 15
Furtenbach Adventures becomes the first expedition organiser to cancel its current expedition on Mount Everest.
Number of people infected with coronavirus in the base camp is reported to be increasing, and therefore, the expedition has been brought to an end with immediate effect for safety reasons.
"It was not easy for me to take the decision but to climb with the increasing cases of COVID-19 and risk the lives of our 20 clients, four mountain guides, and 27 Sherpa climbers would be irresponsible," said Lukas Furtenbach, managing director of Furtenbach Adventures.
In the past few days, the number of people infected with coronavirus at the Everest base camp has increased massively. "With some teams, elementary precautionary measures were simply not observed. There were meetings among the teams, there were celebrations, and parties were held. That is why there was a sudden increase in COVID-19 cases. Our team remained isolated the entire time; our doctor carried out regular tests. But now the point has been reached where we pull the plug," said Furtenbach, who is also very surprised that nothing is being done by the authorities.
High camps have been set up on the mountain in the last few days, and the participants in Furtenbach Expeditions are well acclimatised. A further increase is too dangerous because there is much less space in the high altitude camps and the risk of infection increases automatically. "It will be very difficult to help if anyone becomes infected with the contagion at high altitude, develops symptoms and becomes ill. We do not want to take this risk, which is why our expedition has been stopped immediately," added Furtenbach.
Currently, the base camp is being dismantled, after which return from Nepal will be due.