(BBC) – The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned against complacency in the fight against the coronavirus, saying the disease “will be with us for a long time”.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also warned of upward trends in Covid-19 cases in Africa, Eastern Europe, Central America and South America.

He said that lifting lockdowns could cause infections to “reignite”.

Dr Tedros also defended the WHO’s handling of the pandemic.

He said he believed the UN agency had warned the world of Covid-19 early enough.

“Looking back I think we declared the emergency at the right time and when the world had enough time to respond,” he told a daily briefing in Geneva. The WHO declared COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January and said it had become a pandemic on 11 March.