The Union environment ministry has extended deadlines for various provisions under the Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016, to ensure that hospitals and clinics are not in violation of the norms.“We do not want the hospitals to shut down, we want to improve compliance,” Manoj Gangeya, a senior official at the environment ministry, said of the changes that were notified on Friday.The amendments extend the deadline for hospitals and clinics to phase out chlorinated plastic bags by a year to March 27, 2019. The government has also provided an extension of two years for hospitals and clinics to upload annual reports on their websites containing details of biomedical waste generation and disposal. Biomedical waste includes syringes, needles, cotton swabs, vials that may contain bodily fluids and spread infections. Chlorinated plastic bags are widely used to store biomedical waste but are difficult to dispose off with the rest of the waste. Incineration at lower temperatures may lead to release of carcinogens.