When the globe grabs COVID-19, several mountaineers in Nepal have been reported to be stuck. The climbers reportedly return from Mt Everest to fail to fly home because there are now several travel barriers. To prevent COVID-19 from spreading, Nepal has forbidden most international flies; the bans are scheduled to continue till the end of June.

How are they fighting it?

Nepal is now combating the second wave of COVID-19, much like several other nations in the region. The second wave in the Himalayan country is thought to be worse than the first, and a collapsing infrastructure has been hurting the nation.

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The reports indicate that Nepal granted 742 climbing licences, of which 408 were issued in April and May for Everest. Now that it is time for monsoons in the country, the climbers cannot fly back home after their missions. Although certain chartered planes in the country are still operational, the fee is highly costly, making them inaccessible to several mountaineers.

More chartered planes could be permitted to alleviate the situation by the authorities concerned. Regular commercial flights are not planned since there is much concern about yet another pandemic in Nepal.

Tashi Lakpa Sherpa says

A senior official of the seven summit treks in Kathmandu, Tashi Lakpa Sherpa, told swissinfo.ch that it was not easy for climbers to return home since just five weekly flights to India, Qatar and Turkey were functioning.

“When more climbers finish their excursions and return to Kathmandu in the next few days, the situation could get worse,” Sherpa told Reuters. Andrew Hughes, from the US, claimed that on Wednesday evening, due to the lack of regular airlines, he had to pay for a costly ticket on a chartered flight to Qatar.

“We are in a state where the prohibiting of departure flights for foreign nationals is neither transparent nor reasonable,” Hughes who returned from the Himalayas last month. 

Climbing Mount Annapurna, the tenth highest mountain of the world, at 8,091 metres (26,545 feet), Mexican Viridiana Alvarez, a stranded climber in Nepal nearly three weeks ago, said luck in a chartered flight has been to the seat.

“There’s no incentive to stay here since it’s a bit dull,” said Alvarez, 38, who is a Wednesday night flight to Qatar. To prevent the pandemic, the Nepalese government defended its choice to cut international flights.

Raj Kumar Chettri, a Nepalenian Civil Aviation Authority spokesman, remarked, “I think that’s enough now instead of having no flight.” “We will authorise additional charter flights if necessary.

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