COVID-19 Goes as Far as Mount Everest After Hiker Tests Positive for Virus

Panoramic view of Mount Everest from Kala Patthar with group of climbers on the way to Everest, Sagarmatha national park, Khumbu valley - Nepal Himalayas mountains
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A Norwegian climber tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. He was evacuated from the slopes by helicopter and was taken to a hospital.

The coronavirus has reached new heights this week after a mountain climber reported he tested positive for the virus while scaling to Mount Everest's peak.

The Norwegian climber was hoping to reach the summit but he said he tested positive for COVID-19 and ended up having to take a helicopter to the nearest hospital in the Nepali capital, CBS News reported.

Last year, the climbing season was completely canceled amid the pandemic. But Nepal has lightened its quarantine rules in an attempt to bring more climbers.

A Norwegian broadcaster NRK said that a sherpa had also contracted the virus.

"I really hope that none of the others gets infected with corona high up in the mountains," the climber, Erlend Ness, told NRK. "It is impossible to evacuate people with a helicopter when they're above 8,000 metres."

Ness said he planned to get to the high mountains as quickly as possible but his luck fell short. 

"I've been unlucky and I could have done more by myself when it comes to sanitary precautions," he said.

It is unclear how many climbers have contracted the virus but one hospital in Kathmandu confirmed to the outlets that it had taken in several patients from Everest.

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