The Lion City is shaking its mane, with the Singapore government announcing Monday that it will no longer cover the medical costs of COVID-19 patients “unvaccinated by choice.” In a statement released by the Ministry of Health, it noted that “unvaccinated persons make up a sizable majority of those who require intensive inpatient care, and disproportionately contribute to the strain on our health care resources.”
From Dec. 8, the government will no longer foot COVID-19 treatment bills for the fully unvaccinated, and partially vaccinated people will only be covered until Dec. 31. Until “the COVID-19 situation is more stable,” the statement said, the government will continue to pay medical costs for the fully vaccinated and those who aren’t yet eligible for jabs, including young children and those with certain medical conditions.
Misinformation about the virus is rife on social messaging platforms like WhatsApp, local outlets have reported, with one expert describing the online discussion of vaccines as “acidic.” Currently, 85 percent of Singapore’s eligible residents have been fully vaccinated, with 18 percent having received booster shots. Of 91,000 new coronavirus infections reported in the last 28 days, just over 1,700 have been hospitalized.