Former South Africa Under-19 allrounder Solo Nqweni has revealed that he has tested positive for COVID-19.
The news came as a massive blow to a young cricketer who has endured a health nightmare of late.
Solo Nqweni tests positive for COVID-19 while battling GBS
Nqweni, a promising allrounder from the Eastern Cape, was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) while playing club cricket In Scotland last July.
The cricketer spent four weeks in an induced coma as he battled GBS. He required assistance breathing as polyneuropathy affected his lungs.
Nqweni questions why his health has given way
Having recovered enough to come back to South Africa, with the help of cricket authorities and the Proteas national team themselves., Nqweni suffered more health setbacks.
The Eastern Province allrounder has not played cricket since April 2019 and is still recovering from the debilitating effects of GBS. His final innings was a 95 struck for Eastern Province in the semi-professional three-day provincial cup final.
COVID-19 blow comes at the worst possible time
Nqweni’s health condition is a co-morbidity that places him at extremely high risk of being hospitalised by COVID-19.
“So last year, I got [diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome], and have been battling this disease for the past ten months, and I’m only halfway through my recovery,” Nqweni Tweeted this week.
“I got TB, my liver failed and my kidney failed.
“Now today I tested positive for coronavirus. I don’t understand why all of this is happening to me.”
Nqweni’s agent, Rob Humphries told Wisden that he is confident the allrounder will make a full recovery from COVID-19.
“The thing about Guillain-Barré is that you lose control over your muscles and so, can’t control your ability to breathe,” Humphries said in an interview with ESPN Cricinfo in January.
Nqweni had been playing cricket in Aberdeenshire in Scotland at Humpries behest. The Grey High old boy would spend many months in a Scottish hospital, and a crowdfunding campaign was necessary to raise funds to have him brought back to South Africa to continue his recovery.
The third cricketer to be caught up in the global pandemic
The Port Elizabeth-born seamer is the third professional cricketer to be diagnosed with COVID-19 after Pakistan’s Zafar Sarfraz and Scotland’s Majid Haq.
In February the Proteas donated R50,000 towards Nqweni’s medical expenses. Sources close to Nqweni are confident that he will make a full recovery and resume his professional cricket career.