On Wednesday, however, 15 aid groups and the Houthi rebels called on the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen to reopen the airport, saying the year-long closure was hindering aid and preventing thousands of patients from flying overseas for life-saving treatment.
Yemen's national blood bank faces a complete shutdown within a week after a medical aid charity ended its two-year support, the facility's director said on Thursday, warning that the closure could exacerbate the existing humanitarian crisis in the war-torn country.
In a further threat that took shape this week, Yemen's national blood bank could face a complete shutdown because it has almost exhausted supplies.
The stalemated war has killed at least 10,000 people.
The Colonel also clarified that the number of flight permits issued to every Yemeni airport since the beginning of operations has reached 5,765 for commercial, cargo and humanitarian relief flights. Now the number needing life-saving healthcare was around 20,000 Yemenis over the past two years because of the violence, it said.
More than 54,000 people have been killed or injured since the coalition's involvement.
New mother sues hospital after suffocating baby
The baby was transferred to Randall Children's Hospital at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland and put on life support. The doctors seeing to the baby determined he was both "severely and permanently" brain damaged.
"Without access to safe, commercial travel, Yemenis are left with no way to access critical medical care".
The NRC said it spoke to a man last week who had travelled by road for 24 hours with his sick father to Seiyun airport, in Yemen's south. Mohammed's father died less than a day before his flight.
Yemeni rescue workers carry a victim on a stretcher amid the rubble of a destroyed building in Sana'a, October 2016. Civilian deaths spiked after the Saudi-led coalition began an air campaign in the country.
The aid groups said: "The current cholera outbreak and near-famine conditions in many parts of Yemen make the situation far worse. The importance of unhampered delivery of humanitarian aid can not be overstated".
More than three million people have been displaced during the Saudi war on Yemen while much of the country's infrastructure, including its health system, has been destroyed.
About "10,000 Yemenis have now died from health conditions for which they were seeking medical treatment overseas", the aid agency said, citing figures from the rebels' health ministry.
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