The Canadian province of Quebec will start imposing a "health tax" to residents who choose not to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Its premier Francois Legault told a news conference on Tuesday that this is because vaccine shunners are in fact, a financial burden to everyone in the province.
"I think right now it's a question of fairness for the 90% of the population who made some sacrifices. I think we owe them this kind of measure," Legault said, reported BBC, referring to the vaccinated population.
Quebec has seen the highest number of COVID-19 related deaths in Canada (12,028 until Tuesday), and is currently struggling with a surge in cases due to the Omicron variant.
About 12.8 per cent of Quebec residents are not vaccinated, and they make up almost half of all COVID-related hospitalisation cases.
Legault did not specify the tax rate, but stressed that it would a "significant" contribution, adding that those who do not get vaccinated for medical reasons will get an exemption from the policy.
Last week, Quebec imposed proof of vaccination for those who visit government cannabis and liquor stores. In addition, the province also has a daily curfew in place, from 10pm to 5am.
Quebec is not the only place in the world that has imposed a financial penalty on those shunning the COVID-19 vaccine without a valid reason.
Greeks over the age of 60 will be required to pay a €100 (RM475) fine for each month they remain unvaccinated, from later this month.
Singapore, meanwhile, requires COVID-19 patients pay their own medical bills if they are not vaccinated.
As harsh as it may sound, perhaps these could be some ways to help bring COVID-19 cases down.
Do you think that Malaysia should consider enforcing a similar policy?
Photo source: Getty Images via BBC
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