The organizers of this summer's Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will most likely not allow overseas spectators to attend the massive sporting event, as global efforts to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus are taking longer than initially anticipated, officials with knowledge of the planning said Friday.

The heads of the organizing bodies of the Summer Games are expected to hold a virtual meeting in mid-March to make a decision on the issue, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity. But one of them said, "Practically, the course has already been set."

The chief of the Tokyo Organising Committee also hinted at the difficulty of welcoming fans from abroad in a news conference the same day.