Coast Regional Commissioner Rhoda Onyancha confirmed that so far the death toll has reached 179.
In her daily brief at the Shakahola Command Centre, she said 609 people have been reported missing as of Friday, May 12, 2023.
So far, 72 people have been rescued alive from the forest while fasting to death, with 14 already reunited with their families.
The state has conducted DNA tests on 93 bodies for identification.
“The entire 50,000-acre Chakama Ranch remains a security area and scene of crime with limited access for all persons who are unauthorised,” Kindiki announced.
“The exhumation process is a legal, medical, and human rights exercise that must be undertaken methodically and carefully to protect the dignity and privacy of families of the deceased persons. The Government will avail all information on the ongoing exercise, and limited access to the exhumation sites is to ensure that there is no violation of fundamental rights.”