Singapore will no longer cover the costs of hospitalization for COVID-19 patients who have refused vaccination.

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Singapore will no longer cover the medical costs of patients with Covid-19 who are eligible to be vaccinated against the virus but have chosen not to, says the representative of the Ministry of Health.

"From December 8, we will start charging patients with Covid-19 who refused to get vaccinated", Said the minister in a communiqué. Those who are not eligible for vaccines will be exempted from this rule. Children under the age of 12 will also be an exception to the rule. Singapore will continue to cover the costs of partially vaccinated patients until December 31 to give them time to make their second dose, the health ministry said.

The announcement came as the number of serious cases, which were mainly among unvaccinated people, stabilized, but remains high, the ministry said. Of the approximately 280 intensive care beds for Covid patients, 134 are unvaccinated, Janil Puthucheary, a senior official, told a news conference.

Singapore has vaccinated over 80% of the population, surpassing most other countries. But the number of serious cases has put so much pressure on Singapore's health care system that officials say they will expand the total capacity of hospitals from 2500 to 4.000 beds by the end of November.

Most patients with Covid, who are vulnerable to severe illness and require intensive care, are people aged 60 and over, Mr Puthucheary said. At least 6% of people aged 60 and over in Singapore have not yet received vaccines, according to the Ministry of Health.

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