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Nepal expecting hundreds of climbers despite pandemic

The Department of Tourism in Kathmandu says more than 300 foreigners have expressed interest in climbing Mount Everest this spring.

KATHMANDU, Nepal — Nepal is expecting hundreds of foreigners to attempt to scale the highest Himalayan peaks despite the pandemic.

The Department of Tourism in Kathmandu said Wednesday that more than 300 foreigners have expressed interest in climbing Mount Everest this spring.

There's similar interest for other mountains too, said Mira Acharya, a director at the department.

One Japanese and four Canadians climbers are already trekking their way to the base camps of Mount Manaslu and Mount Nuptse, respectively, Acharya said.

The spring season, which is popular because of favorable weather, began this month. It extends up to the end of May, when weather deteriorates and climbing becomes dangerous.

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Those wishing to scale mountains still have to be quarantined in a hotel in the capital and test negative for the coronavirus.

Credit: AP
In this May 27, 2019, file photo, birds fly as Mount Everest is seen from Namche Bajar, Solukhumbu district, Nepal. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha, File)

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

The United States has more than 29 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

As of Wednesday, the U.S. had more than 536,000 deaths from the virus. Worldwide, there are more than 120 million confirmed cases with more than 2.6 million deaths.

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