Algarve’s pandemic coordinator lodges complaint against nurses’ association boss for accusing him of “jumping vaccine line”

Jorge Botelho, the Algarve’s pandemic coordinator and Secretary of State for Decentralisation and Local Administration, has filed an official complaint for “defamation” against the president of the nurses’ association (Ordem dos Enfermeiros) after she accused him and his wife of ‘jumping the vaccine line’.

The bitter wrangle broke out on Saturday when Ana Rita Cavaco took to social media to accuse Botelho and his wife Margarida Flores, director of Faro District Social Security Centre, of abusing the system to get vaccinated ahead of other priority citizens.

Speaking to Lusa news agency, Botelho confirmed he has filed a complaint for “aggravated slander”, which was sent by mail to the Criminal Court of Tavira, adding that his wife was also due to file a separate complaint against Cavaco.

But Jorge Botelho, who is the coordinator of the region’s efforts to fight Covid-19 and has served as mayor of Tavira and president of the Algarve Municipalities Association (AMAL), is not the only one who has been targeted by Ana Rita Cavaco.

The nurses’ association boss has also launched a vicious attack on Portimão mayor Isilda Gomes, who is in the hot seat for also allegedly ‘jumping the queue’ to receive the Covid-19 vaccine (click here).

Using social media once again, she mocked Gomes for trying to justify her vaccination by telling the press that she is “69 years old, obese and suffers from high blood pressure.”

“Curse the day I was born slim,” Ana Rita Cavaco wrote.

Isilda Gomes had already told the press that she had been vaccinated “as a volunteer and not as a mayor,” referring to the volunteer work she carries out at Portimão’s field hospital as part of the ‘Visitas Virtuais’ project, which organises virtual visits between patients and their families.

So far, Gomes has yet to comment on Cavaco’s remarks.

[email protected]