There are about 500 foreign hikers on at least four hiking trails that cannot return due to lockdown, which started Tuesday and will last for a week, according to Shradha Shrestha, a spokeswoman for the Nepal Tourism Board.
“We are working with several authorities to rescue the migrants and take them to Kathmandu so we can coordinate with the embassies to fly them home,” Shrestha told CNN.
“Several embassies like the German and French are already planning to send chartered flights to some of these areas to save the hikers,” Shrestha added.
The Nepalese government announced earlier this month that the spring climbing season for all Himalayan peaks in the country, including the world’s highest Mount Everest, would be canceled due to coronavirus.
Mount Everest’s climbing permit is suspended until the end of April, says Nepal’s tourism secretary Kedar Bahadur Adhikari.
The decision came at the beginning of this year’s meticulous climbing season, which had already begun amid concerns over congestion at the world’s highest peak. The permit to climb Everest costs about $ 11,000.
The breathing is hindered by the extreme heights of the mountain, so an outbreak of coronavirus – which often causes respiratory tract – could have been particularly devastating at an Everest camp.
Nepal has confirmed three cases of coronavirus so far, according to Nepal Health Ministry data.