“We will begin charging Covid-19 patients who are unvaccinated by choice” on Dec. 8, the government said in a statement.

Singapore will no longer cover the medical costs of Covid-19 patients who are eligible to get vaccinated against the virus but choose not to, the New York Times reported, citing the country’s Health Ministry .

“We will begin charging Covid-19 patients who are unvaccinated by choice” on Dec. 8, the ministry said in a statement on Monday. Those who are not eligible for the shots will be exempt from the rule, it said, including children under 12 and people with certain medical conditions.

The number of severe cases, which have been mainly among unvaccinated people, has stabilized but remains high, the ministry said. Of about 280 intensive-care beds for Covid patients, 134 are occupied, and most are among those not vaccinated, a senior minister of state, Janil Puthucheary, said at a news conference.

“We have to continue to try to keep this number as small as possible,” he said, since health care workers “continue to be stretched.”

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