In an all-out effort to complete the work it started last year, China is sending teams of scientists to the last places on earth that remain uninfected by the novel coronavirus.
A 53-member team from the from the Wuhan Institute of Virology will begin efforts this month to infect Mt. Everest, which is known in China as “Qomolangma.”
Team leader Li Guopeng said the project will take more time than previously anticipated because world’s highest peak is currently empty of commercial climbers.
“There are no expedition teams living in tightly-packed camps at high altitudes with little access to emergency medical help, so the virus won’t spread as rapidly as it would have otherwise,” Guopeng said.
The official Xinhua News Agency said Chinese Communist Party policy prohibits revealing when the team will arrive at the top of the mountain, but did say scientists would be using the northern approach.