Yuli Edelstein
Yuli Edelstein Flash90

A total of 9,589 cases of the coronavirus were diagnosed across Israel Monday, according to data released by the Health Ministry Tuesday morning.

Of the 129,000 tests conducted Monday, 7.6% came back positive, marking a significant increase compared to the past week.

The percentage of tests coming back positive remained under 7.0% over the past week, before hitting 7.2% Sunday.

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein spoke with Radio 103FM Tuesday morning, blaming critics of the Health Ministry’s policies and “populists” for the increase in infections.

“When you don’t do anything, this is what happens. The infection rate will continue to rise.”

While Israel has tightened its third nationwide lockdown, Edelstein said “populist” lawmakers were to blame for the continued spread of the coronavirus.

“How did we get to this situation? In a word, populism. We warned exactly what would happen in the coronavirus wards, and people said it would pass. Then MKs who won’t be MKs tomorrow get up and make decisions that determines what happens to people.”

“The infection rate appears to be linked to the fact that too many people went around to New Year’s Eve parties. If we behave responsibly, within two to three months we can declare that this evil is behind us.”