The Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic organizing committee will limit the number of overseas officials and workers at the games to roughly 78,000, less than half the initial figure, as a measure against the coronavirus, sources close to the matter said Thursday.

Although the organizing committee had expected a total of around 180,000 officials and workers from overseas prior to last year's one-year postponement of the games due to the pandemic, Toshiro Muto, the organizing body's CEO, said last week it would cut the number to 90,000 or fewer.

While the number of Olympic and Paralympic athletes has remained unchanged at about 15,000, the number of visiting sports federation officials, staff and journalists could be reduced further, according to the sources.

The plan comes as the organizing committee has been asking bodies such as national Olympic committees and international sports federations to reduce the number of people entering Japan.

Muto has hinted at the possibility of further cuts, depending on the infection situation, saying last Wednesday, "The (final) number may be really small if we consider (narrowing it down) to just individuals without whom the Olympics cannot take place."

As the country is facing a fourth wave of infections, the public is concerned that an influx of people from abroad could worsen the situation.

With the Olympics scheduled to begin on July 23, the organizers have already decided to hold the games without spectators from abroad to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.