'This is apocalyptic': El Paso cardiologist says COVID-19 surge is threatening heart patients' lives

The latest COVID-19 surge is straining hospital capacity in El Paso, Texas, which may have detrimental effects for some heart patients, a local cardiologist told ABC affiliate KVIA.

Juan Taveras, MD, is a cardiologist at El Paso-based Las Palmas Del Sol Medical Center, where he said many of his patients have not been able to undergo routine heart procedures due to a pause on elective procedures. 

"People are going to start dying. As a matter of fact, they started dying already," Dr. Taveras told KVIA. "But not because they have Covid, but because Covid has impaired the ability to deliver care."

As of Oct. 25, 786 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Texas's El Paso County, up 300 percent in less than three weeks, according to a separate report from KVIA.

"To me this is apocalyptic. There is no other way of describing it," Dr. Taveras said.

The county enacted a curfew Oct. 25 and asked residents to stay home for two weeks to help limit the spread of COVID-19, according to The Washington Post. Texas is also opening a 50-bed field hospital at a convention center in El Paso to expand hospital capacity. 

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