Singapore will no longer pay the medical bills for coronavirus patients who remain "unvaccinated by choice", the country's government has said.
It comes as the southeast Asian island reported 3,397 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, compared to 2,470 the day before.
The government said: "While the total number of COVID-19 cases in hospitals and the intensive care unit remains high, numbers are also stable."
Previously, the government covered the full COVID-19 medical costs for all Singaporeans, as well as permanent residents and long-term visa holders, provided they do not test positive immediately after returning from overseas.
However, new charges will be brought in for the unvaccinated from 8 December.
"Currently, unvaccinated persons make up a sizeable majority of those who require intensive inpatient care, and disproportionately contribute to the strain on our healthcare resources," the government said.
"Hence, from 8 December 2021, COVID-19 patients who are unvaccinated by choice will be charged for bills at hospitals and Community Treatment Facilities."
The government will still continue to foot the medical bills for those who are ineligible for vaccination - including children under the age of 12 and those medically exempt.
Individuals who are partially vaccinated will not be charged until 31 December, giving them time to receive both doses of a coronavirus vaccine.
From 1 January, the government will only pay medical bills for fully vaccinated Singaporeans, permanent residents and long-term visa holders, provided they have not recently travelled.
Source: Sky News