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BEIJING: China will set up “a line of separation” at the summit of Mount Everest to prevent the mingling of climbers from Covid-hit Nepal and those ascending from the Tibetan side as a precautionary measure, Chinese state media reported on Sunday.

Everest base camp on the Nepalese side has been hit by coronavirus cases since late April. The Nepalese government, starved of tourism revenue, has yet to cancel the spring climbing season, usually from April to early June before the monsoon rains.

It was not immediately clear how the line would be enforced on the summit, a tiny, perilous and inhospitable area the size of a dining table.

A small team of Tibetan climbing guides will ascend Everest and set up the “line of separation” at the summit to stop any contact between mountaineers from both sides of the peak, Xinhua news agency reported, citing the head of Tibet’s sports bureau.