Over the past two weeks, we have received several calls and emails from trekkers. Trekkers are concerned about trekking in the Himalayas because of the recent news about Coronavirus. Trekkers are asking – what about Coronavirus on Himalayan treks?
We understand your concern. And so, Trek Coordinators at Indiahikes are keeping a close eye on the situation.
Indiahikes founder Arjun Majumdar says, “So far there have been only 3 cases in our country. All our Himalayan treks are running on schedule. If there is any action to be taken, the Government of India will issue an order or impose a travel ban. And depending on that we will decide our next course of action.”
Thangna to Gokyo Ri on EBC-GokyoRi trek. PC: Santhosh Govindarajulu
Till then, here’s an update from our operating treks for you.
│There’s no reported case of Coronavirus on the Indian Himalayan treks
There have been no reported cases of Coronavirus in the states of Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Himachal Pradesh. Currently, all of our Indian treks are operating on schedule in these three states.
Further, we are in constant touch with our Slope Managers, team members, and government officials from the mentioned states. This means that if there are any updates, we will be the first ones to know. And, we will notify you immediately.
│There are no reported cases of Coronavirus in the Annapurna Conservation Region of Nepal
Coming to Nepal, we run three treks in the mountain country – the Annapurna Base Camp Trek, the Khopra Ridge – Khayer Lake trek, and the Everest Base Camp-GokyoRi trek.
The Nepal trekking season has not begun yet. As of now, none of our trekkers, or staff are in Nepal. There is still time and our treks begin only by the end of March. We are hopeful that the virus will be contained till then. Screening and treatment are also expected to get better. Moreover, our Trek Coordinators are constantly communicating with our Nepali staff.
We are in constant touch with our Slope Managers and government officials from the mountains. If there are any updates, we will be the first ones to know. And, we will notify you immediately.
Of the three treks, the first two are in the Annapurna Conservation region of Nepal. This is an extremely high altitude region which has no reported case of Coronavirus.
So it’s safe to say that till now the situation is clear. There is no need to worry. You may proceed with your trekking plan too.
Having said that, we also understand your concern. If you wish to shift your trek to a later batch with available slots, you may do so too. We are happy to help you out with it. For this, please write an email to your Trek Coordinator. Mention the trek, batch date you’re in and the trek, batch date you want to move to in the email.
│A special note
Coronavirus is transmitted only through direct human contact. The only way of getting infected with Coronavirus is by coming in close contact with an infected person.
The virus does not survive or stay suspended in the air. You are at a risk of infection only when you inhale/ingest droplets of a sneeze/cough from a person infected with Coronavirus.
The chances of encountering/catching Coronavirus on a trek is close to zero. But places of transit such as – international airports, domestic airports, and railway stations are risk areas. All international travellers are being screened at international airports and ports of entry.
Global bodies such as the United Nations (UN), World Health Organisation (WHO) are suggesting precautionary measures, and suspending travel to a few countries. This has helped in containing the virus.
│Precautionary measures for travellers
On that note, here are some basic precautions to take while travelling:
- Wash your hands frequently: Make sure to wash your hands in clean, running water. While washing, lather your hands as well. And as a precaution, keep your nails clipped.
- Sneeze with care: Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze. Do not sneeze into the air. Use a handkerchief. And if you don’t have one, sneeze into your elbow instead of your hand.
- Seek help early: Alert your co-travellers and officials if you have a fever or headache. Visit a doctor to be sure. After all, prevention is better than cure.
- Avoid eating raw, uncooked meat: If you are eating non-vegetarian food, ensure that it is well cooked. Avoid eating any organs.
- Be alert: Keep distance from people who are sneezing or coughing.
- Keep yourself informed: Follow the news, and stay updated with new developments.
We understand your concern and will share another update in March if there’s any change in the situation. Your safety is a prime concern at Indiahikes. We will keep you posted about any developments regarding Coronavirus on treks.
Please write to your Trek Coordinators, or call us on 080-468-01269 if you have any further concerns. Stay safe, and happy trekking!